Chief Executive’s Report


Thank you Molly

Good Morning Presidents, Delegates and Observers of our Member Netball Associations and regional Federations and our guests.

I am delighted to be here in Gaborone making my report to you today.  I thank you the Membership and the INF Board for the trust you put in me and my team in Manchester and Africa to deliver the strategic plan of the International Netball Federation.

Slide 1

I shall provide you with an update on the INF Staff.

I shall be reporting for the first time on our strategic plan ‘Netball 2020’ and providing evidence of progress towards achieving our goals.

I shall describe the process that led to the publication of the plan and the three cores strategies. Finally I shall provide you with an overview of the programmes that we are working on in 2017 and the period to 2019.

I shall be reporting for the first time on our strategic plan ‘Netball 2020’ and providing evidence of progress towards achieving our goals.

Slide 2

Here are the INF Secretariat Team pictured at our team event in Liverpool in February.

From left to right

Angela Sanderson – Financial Accountant

Nikki Richardson – Head of Communications


Christina Davidson – International Umpiring Manager

Maggie Ross – Administration Manager

Imogen Talbot – Intern

And of course Joan Smit, Based here on the African Continent in Namibia.

Slide 3

Following the last Congress in Sydney two years ago we began the strategic planning process for this cycle.  This slide outlines the key stages. The INF Board, the staff and I reviewed the progress made in the four-year period to 2016.  Along the way we asked our key stakeholders for their views – the Membership and those within netball as well as those from other sports and multisport organisations such as the Commonwealth Games Association and the IOC.

Significant progress had been made and during the quadrennial with milestones such as the launch of a new brand profile and the first Netball World Cup.

The INF was able to clarity its USP in the sporting world.

As Molly says

“The power of sport, of women’s sport, and of netball in particular, to change lives is extraordinary.”

Slide 4

We realised that we weren’t just part of a great game but a socially responsible sports movement, one that could be recognised universally for its positive impact on people and communities around the world.  And so the Vision (or strategic direction) for INF and netball was crystalised.

Our Mission or purpose is that INF promotes empowerment by working with our Members, from grass roots to elite, to provide safe and supportive environments to develop life skills and to sustain growth.

We felt it was important to be able to articulate our culture and beliefs and so we developed a set of values to guide our behaviours and I hope that they resonate with you all.

‘We aspire to Excellence in everything we do. We hold the principles of Fairness and Integrity at the heart of our sport. We create opportunities to foster lifelong Friendship through the love of netball”

Slide 5

Here are some images to depict our three cores strategies.  Which you will be hearing a lot about during the two days.

For each strategic we have developed a series of Goals and KPIs.

Slide 6

Governing with Integrity

Goal 1: Maintain an exemplary Governance Framework that is the benchmark for the sport of netball

In 2016 the Board established a Governance Working Group that reviewed governance guidelines produced by the IOC and ASOIF, in order to benchmark our own practice.  This work will be shared with Member Federations at the Congress Workshops and Members will be encouraged to carry out their own governance reviews.

The Group has:

  • Made recommendations to the INF Board regarding changes to the Articles of Association for the INF. These changes will be proposed to Members for approval at Congress 2017.
  • Reviewed the Committees and Working Groups that work on behalf of the INF to ensure they support the delivery of the strategic plan.
  • Created a Board skills matrix and identified areas for further development.


Goal 2 Engaged and Proactive Members and Regional Federations

A workshop programme has been devised that will provide Members with an insight into the three core strategies of Netball 2020.  This will be delivered during the competition days of the Netball World Cup from 8th – 16th July 2017.

The Audit and Finance Committee provided a guidance paper for Members and Regions, based on the INF Articles of Association, that outlined the areas that should be included in their own constitutions.

The Governance Working Group compared the activities of the five INF Regional Federations and will facilitate a workshop for representatives at Congress to share this work and consider the role of the Regions in the delivery of Netball 2020.

Africa Netball has benefitted from two safeguarding events organised in conjunction with UK Sport utilising the Safeguards for Children in Sport developed by UNICEF UK Ltd – a project that INF has actively supported since 2012.  Making sport safe for children is a cause that INF is committed to and actively promoting within international sport.


Goal 3 Netball – a drug free sport

INF remains committed to the promotion of drug-free sport and supporting the clean athlete.  A testing programme was implemented that was proportionate to the relatively low risk of doping in netball.  Zero anti-doping rules violations were reported in our sport in 2016.

INF continues its anti-doping education programme ensuring Members are aware of developments in this area including the updates to the WADA banned substances list and their responsibilities under the INF Anti-Doping Rules.  Anti-doping education will be made available to the U21 teams (players and support personnel) here at the NWYC2017 and to Member’s administrators during the Congress Workshop Programme.

WADA has recently launched a questionnaire to assess the compliance of each International Federation with the WADA code.  INF has its response to this in May 2017.

Slide 6

Thrilling World Class Events

Goal 4 Ensure a profitable and engaging event portfolio delivered through capable event management

INF has built on the success of the Netball World Cup 2015 (NWC2015) hosted by Netball Australia in Sydney.  Netball globally is benefiting from increased media coverage (TV, digital, and social) for both domestic leagues and international matches.  Netball is ‘on the rise’.

The INF Board attended the finals day of the World University Netball Championships organised by the United States International University Sports Federation (USIUSF) on behalf of FISU (International University Sports Federation) at St Thomas’ University Miami.  The event was a great success with volunteers coming from around the world to play their part.  South Africa won the gold medal, Jamaica the silver and Australia the Bronze.  Uganda came fourth – they are the hosts for the third WUNC in 2018.

The Fast5 Netball World Series saw netball take a successful ‘walk on the wild side’ in Melbourne, Australia in October 2016, with over 11,500 fans enjoying the action live and 1.4 million viewers tuning in to the Nine Network across the weekend. Netball New Zealand’s Fast Ferns won the series with Netball Australia’s Fast5 Flyers in the silver medal position.  The series returns there on28th& 29thOctober 2017.  We can’t wait.

The organising committee of NWC2015 assisted the INF with a thorough review of the INF Event and Commercial Operations Manual.  The learning is now being shared with the hosts of future INF events including the Netball World Youth Cup Gaborone 2017 and Netball World Cup Liverpool 2019 to ensure our events are world class and attractive to fans, media and sponsors alike.

In response to Member feedback, a Working Group was established following Congress 2015 to review the draw format of the Netball World Cup.  Through consultation with Members, direct involvement from the organising committees of the NWC2015 and NWC2019 and comparison with other sports.  The group will report to Members at Congress 2017.

Goal 5 Fair and transparent bid process

Bidding for the Netball World Youth Cup 2021 reached its conclusion during 2016.  INF received two strong bids from the Oceania Region, from Fiji and Samoa. INF Members were consulted during the process and following an extensive evaluation Suva, Fiji was selected by the INF Board as the Host city.

Goal 6 World class standards inofficiating for International Events

The International Umpiring community has benefitted from the appointment of Christina, the International Umpiring Manager in 2015.   Five volunteer Regional Officiating Co-ordinators were appointed to support the programme.  International appointments for Match Officials and the Umpires Appointment Panel for international events are now managed through the new structure.

Officiating Advisory Groups involving representatives from Members have:

  • Defined the International Umpires’ Award (IUA) Testing Panel Programme
  • Completed initial work on IUA/Event Categorisation
  • Reviewed and updated the IUA Testing Programme and created a Handbook for International Umpiring.

The INF website has a dedicated area for officiating where all these useful documents may be downloaded.

INF now has 36 IUAs (International Umpire Award umpires) and 10 ITID (International Talent Identified umpires).

In 2017 we are working to define a meaningful benchmark for ‘World Class Officiating’ to measure our performance and progress.


Slide 7


Empowering Through Netball


Goal 7 To achieve recognition from our stakeholders, through our communications and actions that netball, the INF and our Members are seen as a force for good.

Netball 2020 was launched to our Members and external stakeholders in 2016. In 2017 we are implementing some market research in this area to see if our new strategic plan is gaining traction with our stakeholders.


Goal 8 Effective, frequent and meaningful dialogue with all our stakeholders, including INF Members, Regional Federations, sponsors, funders, media, key global organisations and opinion formers to ensure our activities remain attractive and relevant to their developing needs.

Our marketing communications have stepped up once again in 2016 with the launch of a new website and increased social media presence.  Our Netball World News email newsletter provides regular updates to our stakeholders and provides a platform to promote the work of all our Member associations.


Goal 9 A Netball World Development Programme in place to growmembership and build capacitythrough the regions, particularly incountries with little or no opportunity for women and girls to developoutside the family home.

Netball playing countries number well over 120, however many countries need assistance to establish an effective administration and to complete the steps to become a member of INF.  INF works with partners such as UK Sport and with the more established and better resourced Members, to assist in the development of new Associate Member countries and with the transition from Associate to Full Membership.

Our 2016 development programmes include:

Net Effect Grants – the INF, through the Regional Federations, provides small grants to support netball development programmes including coaching and officiating workshops, guidance in governance and administration and development of event management skills.

Sustainability & Development Working Group – INF has established a working group to ensure the promotion of the empowerment of women and girls, through philanthropy and fund development.

Netball Intern – INF is committed to empowering through netball and we have been able to create an intern role at the secretariat to provide a work placement opportunity.  The intern programme includes aspects of sports administration, event management and digital communications, including the creation of our new website and ongoing social media campaign.

Coaching Resources – our Coaching Advisory Panel (CAP) have been developing resources for Members.  The INF Coaching Manual (Intermediate Level) was completed in 2016 and is available to download from the INF Website, as well as series of high performance coaching workshops filmed at the Netball World Cup.

Coaching Workshops – CAP attended the Nations Cup in Singapore in 2016 and ran a very successful intermediate level coaching workshop attended by 80 coaches from the Asian Region.  This course will be repeated at the Netball World Youth Cup in July 2017 for the benefit of Members attending this event.

Slide 8

2017 and beyond

This slide outlines our current work programme.


The main focus of our activities in 2017 is the delivery of a successful Netball World Youth Cup in Gaborone – the first International Netball event to be hosted on the African Continent.  The Local Organising Committee has stepped up to the challenges of hosting a world event and will ensure the 20 competing countries have a memorable experience.

Refer to items on the slide


Thank you so much for listening to my report today on behalf of the INF Board,  I shall be delighted to take questions after Ann Tod our Finance Director provides the report on the financial position of the INF.

Clare Briegal

Chief Executive Officer


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