February 19, 2010
Harry: First male head of the SVGNA

Godfrey “Fuzzy” Harry has risen to head the local chapter of the female dominated sport of Netball.

Harry was elected unopposed last Monday afternoon to become the first male to be President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association (SVGNA).{{more}}

In unprecedented fashion, only Harry’s name was nominated for the top spot when the nomination forms were presented at the organisation’s Biennial General Meeting which took place at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School.

But that was not all, as the nominees for the First Vice President post all declined, leaving Anthony Jack to also be elected unopposed. Jack’s nomination came from the floor at Monday’s meeting, as the Association’s constitution allows.

Thelma Foster was also elected unopposed. She filled the Second Vice President’s spot, a portfolio Harry held from 2008 to the date of his elevation. Foster served as Games Secretary on the outgoing Executive.

Jacintha Ballantyne, who was asked to run the financial affairs of the Association, after the resignation of the elected Treasurer Michelle Guy, got the affiliates’ unanimous approval, as she was elected, also unchallenged.

The youthful Gailene Gordon, still a national senior player, is the Association’s General Secretary. She, too, did not need any ballots to confirm her post, as she was elected unopposed.

Likewise, Cheryl Alexander, a Committee Member in the outgoing Executive, was the automatic choice of Games Secretary. She, too, was elected unchallenged.

Diane Questelles fills the post as the Association’s mouthpiece, again, elected unopposed as the SVNGA’s Public Relations Officer.

Staying with the trend of the elections, Lafern Millington retained her position as one of two Committee Members. Her nomination was the lone one.

Richard Cato is the other Committee Member. In the only ballot exercise, he beat Perlina Thomas 16-8, as the Executive was completed.

Harry, who replaced Doris Mc Intosh, who served out her maximum of three two-year terms, in his acceptance speech thanked the affiliates who nominated and seconded him.

Cognisant that there were dissenting utterances from those present, Harry quickly pointed out: “I know you are fearful to have a man as President, but I will be counting on you women for your support.”

“Let not your hearts be restless as I will give one hundred percent and with your support, it will be two hundred percent,” Harry quipped.

Harry further told SEARCHLIGHT that his immediate focus will be to chart a way forward for Netball.

“I want to pick up from where the past Executive left off,” he said.

Harry named the pursuance of getting the Association’s Secretariat up and fully operational, along with a coaching structure and feverishly unearthing new talent through a talent identification programme, as his Executive’s short-term goals.

These were the areas on which Harry campaigned on in 2008, when he first attempted to lead the SVGNA.

Harry and the other challenger, Sonya Lewis, were defeated by Mc Intosh in a three-way race for the presidency.

McIntosh will serve as Immediate Past President.

Last Monday’s meeting also heard the President’s Report, the Financial Report and an overview of the various Netball Committees performance for the last two years.

Whilst Harry is the first male President of the SVGNA, records show that one V. Hadley was Chairman of a Netball Committee many years ago.