The President of the International Netball Federation (INF) Molly Rhone says netball is a vehicle “to empower young women” and drive the continued “participation of women in sport”.
Officially opening the INF Congress, Rhone said as a federation, the INF prides itself is regarded as a leader in safeguarding children in sports.
“Our young athletes are our future; our most precious resource, and the INF continues to be regarded as a leader in safeguarding in sport. Last year we were proud and delighted to be nominated for a Beyond Sport Award in recognition of our work in keeping children safe,” the INF informed the congress delegates.
She said over the years, netball has earned a reputation for good governance, clean sport and strong safeguarding, and is working to further develop our relationships with governing bodies across sport.
Among the associations working closely with the INF are the World Anti-Doping Association, the Commonwealth Games Federation, ARISF – the Association of Recognised International Sports Federations and the International Olympic Committee.
Rhone said although netball is not yet an Olympic sport, it is an IOC recognised sport, and the INF works closely with the IOC to ensure best practice and promote netball and women’s sport.
The INF president expressed happiness that there is now a growing awareness of the importance of women’s sport, and debate around the role of women in sport.
She, however, said she is of the belief that the debate has to change and “gender equality constantly addressed to give more women leaders opportunities to contribute and shape sport at the highest level”.
Concerning the Netball World Youth Cup 2017 which is ongoing here in Gaborone, Botswana, Rhone said the event was “hugely significant for the country and the continent”.
It is also the INF’s first world event to be held in Africa, and the first ever Netball World Youth Cup ÔÇô building on the World Youth Netball Championships and raising elite youth game to new levels.
She said that this tournament would leave Botswana the legacy of an up skilled local workforce, with the confidence and experience to take on more world class events in the future, something for the country to be immensely proud and excited about.
Another vital legacy of NWYC2017 was their determination to put measures in place that reflect netball’s commitment to making sport a safe place. Indicating that the place is one where there is respect, integrity, and care taken for the welfare and well-being of all involved. As a Federation, we are fortunate to have partners who share our vision and values.
Rhode showed her gratitude to the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympics Committee and Confederation of Sport, and the Botswana Netball Association, for partnering together to provide a Welfare and Safeguarding Officer to protect the welfare of athletes, coaches, volunteers, and everyone involved in NWYC 2017, adding that this will now be a feature of all future INF events.