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Cummins in charge

New BNA president Nisha Cummins (right) being congratulated by Chinese Ambassador, Xu Hong at the Dover courts last night where the island’s leading netballers were participating in a Fast Five Netball Competition as part of the celebrations marking Tourism Week. Barbados’ senior netball team coach Anna Shepherd is at left. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)

By Justin Marville | Fri, December 14, 2012 - 12:05 AM

Netball's long-time second-in-command is now first in the ranks.

Nisha Cummins’ ascension has finally taken her to the presidency of the Barbados Netball Association for a two-year term after the former vice-president and secretary unseated Juanita Cordle at Wednesday’s general elections at the National Stadium lounge.

The 35-year-old account manager with LIME became the third president in as many terms when she predictably upended Cordle by 34 votes to 16 at the annual general meeting.

It was just the natural progression for a woman who has served on several boards in various posts from 1998, including three different stints as vice-president.

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised or taken aback because I was encouraged to run due to the fact that I was working in administration for so long and in so many posts,” said Cummins.

“And I am very enthusiastic about this, and I am coming with my arms open to all the clubs because I definitely can’t do it without them.

“But based on the feedback I have already received, I believe that I shouldn’t have problems getting their support.

“I also have to thank Annette Beckett, Kathy Harper-Hall, Anna Shepherd, Pamala Proverbs, Marlene Hall and Margaret Cutting for the support they have shown me.”

Coach of the Barbados Workers’ Union team, Cameron Greenidge, had  thrown his hat in the ring for the top spot but withdrew his nomination on the night.

In a fairly low-key meeting that failed to live up to the drama of previous elections, all but one of the seven posts changed hands as treasurer Michelle Moseley was the only member to be returned from the previous board.

Linda Wilson defeated incumbent Carlos Lovell, Greenidge and Veronica Harris for the post of vice-president, while Daisy Browne filled Cummins’ vacated seat as secretary by beating Harris.

Former director Joycelyn Haynes-Prescod moved one spot to become the new assistant secretary/treasurer when Carolene Hall didn’t seek re-election.

Lovell and Monique James filled out the remainder of Cummins’ board by taking up the two director posts.

And Cummins said they will have their work cut out in trying to repair the country’s international standing, which had plummeted up until Barbados’ encouraging seventh-place showing at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“If you look at the teams that come here to visit, we are still on par with the rest of the world at the junior level, but from the time we move from the Under-16s to the seniors then we fall behind,” she said.

“So we have to find a way to bridge that gap, and that will come about by improving our local league through some much needed changes.

“We still have a good product but we need to get the crowds back out and get people to invest – and not just financially – because we have some younger players who need mentoring and some national players who are not working.”

Outside of improving Barbados’ international standing, though, Cummins is already faced with a major setback after revealing that the Under-21 team will likely miss out on next year’s Junior World Netball Championships in Scotland.

“It is a very unfortunate situation because they have been training for the last two years, but there is a waiting list and we are third on that list, so we have to hope that at least three teams suddenly drop out of the tournament.”

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