World Netball held its first ever virtual Congress last Saturday 10th July 2021.
Congress, which is the biennual meeting of the membership of World Netball, was held online via video conference due to the constraints of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
However, despite these unusual circumstances, the Board and Members came together to review the progress and highlight the success and challenges that World Netball has faced in these last two extraordinary years, as well as to determine the priorities for the next period.
On the day there were more than 125 Member delegates and observers in attendances, with 47 Full Member voting countries participating.
Congress was chaired by the World Netball Vice President Sue Taylor AM deputising for President Liz Nicholl CBE, was unable to attend due to personal circumstances.
This was also Sue’s last Meeting as she has reached her maximum term on the Board, having served as Vice President since 2011.
In a pre-recorded address to the Board and Members, Liz welcomed everyone to Congress and thanked Sue for her commitment to the Federation and netball.
Liz Nicholl commented: “Thank you to Sue Taylor AM for her huge contribution to our sport over many, many years, rising from the umpiring ranks to contribute 14 years on our Board and 10 as Vice President.
“Sue, we will miss you and thank you for your unique contribution to our leadership team.”
Sue’s departure meant that delegates were voting to elect a new Vice-President. Shirley Hooper was the sole candidate standing for this role and she was elected with full support from the Members and the Board. The appointment will see Shirley leave her position as Further Director. Anew Independent Director will be recruited in the next few months. Shirley retains her position as Chair of the Commercial Committee.
During Congress World Netball CEO, Clare Briegal and Finance Director, Ann Tod reported on the status of the Federation and its development since the last Congress in 2019 in Liverpool.
Reflecting on the past two years, Clare Briegal commented: “Together we have achieved so much.
“It’s been a hugely challenging period, but I am confident that we have grown through this period, developed new ways of working and innovations that will enable us to achieve our ambitions.”
Also on the agenda was an amendment to the Article of Association, 6.11, which needed a special resolution to be changed. The Delegates voted in favour of this change, which will now mean that no Director can serve for longer than three four year terms on the Board, regardless of whether those years are consecutive.
Finally, five other items from Members for which due notice had been given, were discussed and ‘heat polls’ were carried out to inform World Netball on the opinions of their Members on these items. Topics raised by Members ranged from the introduction of world rankings for players to the participation of men and boys in netball at the elite level.
The Congress concluded with the award of World Netball Service Awards to five individuals who had made a significant contribution to the development of netball internationally including former President Hon Molly Rhone OJ CD LLD (HON).
The World Netball Congress Agenda and Papers can be found here.
Full details of the World Netball Service Award winners may be found here.