Wednesday, 5 May 2010

IFNA attends Sport Accord in Dubai - This Article from Sport Accord Daily Paper

Fresh from scoring two awards in under a year, the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) continues to improve the lives of thousands of Indian girls through it’s hugely successful Goal programme.

According to IFNA Chief Executive Officer Urvasi Naidoo, the four-year old initiative continues to go from strength to strength with more than 4,000 girls having benefited from a programme that empowers women in a region where their role in sport is hardly encouraged.

“The programme was started in Delhi in 2006 to encourage underprivileged women and girls to play netball and improve their self confidence, life skills and assertiveness – some of the by-products of being involved in team sports,” she told SportAccord Daily.

“Today, with the valuable support of our sponsor Standard Chartered, Goal is now in three Indian cities with girls playing in Mumbai and Chennai as well as Delhi.”
Such is the success of the programme, Goal netted the 2009 Best Project by a Sport
Federation or Governing Body at the Beyond Sport awards, while in 2010 it won in the category ‘Sport in the City’ at the Global Sport Forum Awards in Barcelona.

“We’re very proud of the awards as well as the results not only for the girls themselves but also for their families,” added Naidoo. “Women in India are not really encouraged to play sport – there are very few sporting role models – so it’s fantastic that netball can make a difference to their lives.

"While the IFNA and NGOs play their part, Standard Chartered does a lot for Goal and use their staff from some of their Indian offices to volunteer on the project and make them aware of corporate social responsibility.

"Although netball isn’t such a big sport in India, we‘ve been delighted with the reaction and discovered some real talent – one of our girls is Deepali Sharma who is now a Goal coach and will represent India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”

As well as the ongoing success of Goal, the IFNA also operates programmes in Africa.
‘African Safari’ sees English netball players visit the continent for a week at a time to coach local competitors, run workshops and operate a ‘train the trainer’ campaign with visits in 2009 reaching Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia.

This week, however, the netball focus is on SportAccord Convention, an event Naidoo believes she would be “mad to miss.”

“This is only my second SportAccord Convention but as a sporting association we just have to be here. Everyone is at SportAccord Convention and the benefits are huge with a great opportunity to network and discuss important issues.

“Unfortunately IFNA president Molly Rhone could not make it from Jamaica due to the flight restrictions but I lived in Dubai for three years when I worked with the ICC so it’s nice to be back.”

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