Leadership History Made at World Netball Congress

Stacey Francis-Bayman appointed as the first-ever Athlete Director on the World Netball Board. Photo: (c) World Netball

The World Netball Congress witnessed a momentous occasion as Dame Liz Nicholl DBE was re-elected as the President of World Netball. The Congress took place in Cape Town, South Africa, in preparation for the much-anticipated Netball World Cup 2023 (NWC2023). 

While Dame Liz Nicholl’s re-election marks a significant milestone, the appointment of Stacey Francis-Bayman as the first-ever Athlete Director on the World Netball Board has captured the attention of the netball community worldwide.

Francis-Bayman, a retired England Netballer, made history by securing the esteemed role of Athlete Director with a resounding vote of confidence from the Membership. Her appointment reflects the growing emphasis on the athlete’s voice and representation within the organisation. 

Dedication to Shaping the Future of Netball

Francis-Bayman’s involvement with the WN’s Voice of the Athlete Working Group, established in 2021, showcases her dedication to shaping the future of netball and ensuring that athletes’ perspectives are heard and valued.

The Working Group was tasked with crafting a framework for a future WN Athlete Commission, aiming to provide athletes with a platform to express their opinions, concerns, and ideas, ultimately contributing to the growth and development of the sport.

Dame Liz Nicholl praised Stacey Francis-Bayman’s passion and commitment to netball, emphasising the invaluable role she will play in championing the athletes’ interests and experiences at the highest level of decision-making within the organisation.

“I am delighted to welcome Stacey Francis-Bayman as the first Athlete Director on the World Netball Board. Stacey’s exceptional contributions to the Voice of the Athlete Working Group have proven her dedication to the sport’s betterment. Her appointment marks a significant step forward in ensuring that athletes’ voices are at the forefront of our strategic endeavours,” stated Dame Liz Nicholl.

As the new Athlete Director, Stacey Francis-Bayman expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to represent her fellow athletes and vowed to work tirelessly to promote their well-being, advocate for their rights, and contribute to the overall development and growth of netball globally.

New Appointments

The World Netball Congress also saw other changes, including the retirement of Ann Tod after 12 years of service as Finance Director on the WN Board. Suri Bartlett has been appointed as the first ‘Independent’ Finance Director, and Catherine Lewis was elected for a second term as the representative on the Nominations Committee.

Dr. Bridget Adams will take on the role of Americas Regional Director, replacing Marva Bernard, while Victoria Lakshmi will replace Gaby Hochbaum as the Director for Asia. Lyn Carpenter and Wainikiti Bogidrau were re-elected for a second term of four years by Europe Netball and Oceania Netball, respectively.

All newly elected and appointed members of the World Netball Board will assume their positions following the closing ceremony of the Netball World Cup 2023.

The netball community eagerly awaits the positive impact that Stacey Francis-Bayman, as the new Athlete Director, will bring to the sport, enhancing the athlete’s experience and furthering the sport’s global reach and influence.

Follow the Netball World Cup 2023 on gsport.co.za and follow @gsport4girls to stay up to date with the latest news from Cape Town! #GoGirls


Photo Credit: Stacey Francis-Bayman appointed as the first-ever Athlete Director on the World Netball Board. Photo: (c) World Netball

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