“It’s been challenging but it’s been fun. Challenging (because) the school needs a good netball court but really fun and rewarding because they are like sponges and so many of our young people want guidance,” she added. The netball team, under the guidance of coach, Christopher Smart, won the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Under 19 Urban title last year. “There is so much respect and admiration that the players have for him (Smart) and the way he interacts with them. The discipline is very important and so they know that once they step on the court for training or matches, Excelsior’s brand becomes foremost in their minds and so far I couldn’t find a better way to spend the free time that I have time now,” she added. Bernard, who is an accountant by training, and was also treasurer for the International Netball Federation before stepping down from that role a few years ago, said the experience she gained at the higher level helped her in her current role. Bernard makes all the arrangements for matches such as player registration, hydration, transportation, and in conjunction with the school’s sports department, helps to monitor the movement of students between training, matches and home. “I couldn’t sit down and not let my sport be a part of the disciplines that are doing well,” she explained. The programme is a holistic one and the girls are helped with their homework and as she calls it taught “soft skills”. “It’s the soft skills that a lot of these girls need and they’re going to leave school and go out into the working world and I want to impart some of the skills I learnt from my parents,” she said. THEY WANT GUIDANCE After finding satisfaction in giving back to her alma mater Excelsior High School former Netball Jamaica president Marva Bernard is encouraging other women to do the same. Bernard, who left the top post at Netball Jamaica in 2015 after 10 years at the helm, was moved by the way many from all alumnae of prominent all boys institutions have already mastered the art of giving back. “There is a need for those of us who have the time to give back. I would like to see many more women just coming back and giving back to their high school. If it makes a difference in just one person’s life it is worth it,” she told The Gleaner. Since last July, Bernard has been the effective manager of Excelsior High School’s ‘lady eagles’ netball team. She said she was inspired to take on the role after observing Excelsior Old Boys Desmond Shakespeare and track team head coach David Riley in action. “I said ‘this is my school and I have a lot of time on my hands’ and it’s a no brainer because working with young people is something I enjoy and the girls need us to come back to help with that part of the programme because we have been doing well in so many areas,” she said.
Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, left, and Manolo Gabbiadini react to their team’s elimination in the World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Italy and Sweden, at the Milan San Siro stadium, Italy, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)ROME — The best players in the world go elsewhere. The best coaches in Italy emigrate. The stadiums around the country are falling apart.The lingering problems affecting Italy’s domestic league might just be the reason for the country’s failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Complicated laws and a lack of funding have prevented clubs from building new stadiums. In 2014, the American owners of Roma presented plans for a new stadium but haven’t been able to break ground yet due to a series of bureaucratic delays.“It’s time to make choices that perhaps in the past people didn’t have the courage to make,” Italian Sports Minister Luca Lotti said. “This world needs to be revised from the youth levels on up to Serie A.”Although Italy is no longer the draw it was once for the best in the world, it still has a large contingent of foreign-born players. And that is stunting the development of the country’s talent.Juventus has been the Champions League runner-up in two of the past three seasons, but the Turin squad has heavily relied on Argentine forwards for its success: Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.Federico Bernardeschi, one of Italy’s most talented young forwards, joined Juventus in a 40 million euro ($47 million) transfer this season but has been largely relegated to the bench. So it’s no wonder that Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura used Bernardeschi only in a bench role in the playoff loss to Sweden on Monday.The only Italian who starts for Serie A leader Napoli is winger Lorenzo Insigne, who was also reduced to abench role under Ventura in a widely criticized decision.Meanwhile, Napoli’s Brazilian-born midfielder Jorginho was given his first competitive start for Italy in the second leg of the playoff. Eder, another Brazilian-born player, appeared in the first leg.With captain Gianluigi Buffon, defender Andrea Barzagli and midfielder Daniele De Rossi having announced their international retirements, Italy needs a new generation of Azzurri to step up.And the younger players need space in an improved Serie A to become competitive. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Japan wary of Gilas’ speed, offense Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LATEST STORIES It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson The Italian league was once where the likes of Diego Maradona, Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit came to play in the primes of their careers. It’s where Kaka won the Ballon d’Or award with AC Milan in 2007 — the last time anyone besides Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the honor.Paradoxically, the start of Italy’s decline can be traced back to 2006 — the year Italy won its fourth World Cup. That was also the year of the “Calciopoli” refereeing scandal that saw Juventus stripped of two Serie A titles and relegated to the second division as punishment.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBack on the throneA number of top players left Juventus after the scandal and the “Old Lady” of Italian soccer required half a dozen years to recover.In the meantime, the Premier League emerged as the sport’s richest domestic competition while Italy was eliminated in the first round of the last two World Cups. Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award The Premier League is where former Italy coach Antonio Conte now manages at Chelsea, having won the league in his first season. It’s where Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Mancini also won titles at Chelsea and Manchester City, respectively.Fabio Capello coached England from 2008-12 and said he would never be interested in leading Italy’snational team.Any Italian coach who moves to England raves about the facilities there and the packed stadiums. It’s the complete opposite of Serie A, where most of the big squads play in dilapidated stadiums that were last renovated for the 1990 World Cup — the last major tournament that Italy hosted.Of Italy’s six biggest clubs — Juventus, Milan, Inter Milan, Roma, Lazio and Napoli — only Juventus has a new stadium that it operates on its own.Milan and Inter play in the city-run San Siro, Roma and Lazio play in the Stadio Olimpico run by the Olympic committee and Napoli plays in the crumbling San Paolo Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT View comments