Bernard calls for sports psychology after netballer’s shocking retirement - after netballer’s shocking retirement

July 29, 2020

Former President of Netball Jamaica (NJ) Marva Bernard says she was very surprised by former Sunshine Girls captain Vangelee Williams' decision to retire from the sport.

The 28-year-old Williams, who plays wing defence, goal defence and goalkeeper, first represented Jamaica at the senior level against South Africa in 2012.

Williams, a graduate of The Mico University College, had taken a year off from the sport following the Sunshine Girl's disappointing fifth place at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, last year.

Bernard, who led Netball Jamaica from 2010 to 2015, told STAR Sports that Williams' decision to quit came as a major shock to her.

'Fierce competitor'

"I know that she would have struggled with this decision as she said she did," said Bernard. "I was surprised that she made this decision simply because she's such a fierce competitor," she said.

"On reflection, and listening to her interviews, she seems to have been on this path for some time now. This points to a need for the sports psychologist on a more permanent basis on the support staff with sporting teams."

The former NJ boss added that sports is a very demanding task to master, and therefore it becomes difficult to get up and show up every day with the same level of intensity that's required to maintain top performance.

"It is difficult to get up every day and show up. Even administrators find this challenging , so I understand what Vangelee's experienced," Bernard said.

"I wish her well on this next leg of her journey. She is young enough to return if she wishes to. And as she has said, she is only leaving national netball, so who knows. She may well turn to coaching toddlers, as she is not leaving the sport," said the veteran administrator.

Williams won bronze at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games and was part of the team that finished fourth at the 2015 Netball World Cup.

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