During the Annual General Meeting of the Bermuda National Athletics Association (BNAA), the body ratified a change in the Bye–laws to ensure that there are at least two women as part of the leadership of the BNAA.
Normally, organizations such as World Athletics, IOC, ICC and BOA introduce amendments like this to rectify historical bias and inequities against individuals. Historically, this has not been an issue for the BNAA. In fact, the BNAA is a model of gender inclusion. Throughout most of the BNAA’s history, the majority of the Board’s membership has been women. In the last twenty-five years, women have been the majority of the Board members.
However, the outgoing Board wanted to ensure that the BNAA’s Bye-laws are aligned with the World Athletics Constitution which is an expectation of all International affiliates.
During the discussion of this amendment, a question of racial inclusion was brought to the floor. Although, this was a well-intentioned suggestion, it does not reflect the BNAA’s reality. Historically the BNAA has had Directors of all racial backgrounds and welcomes any and all candidates for directorship if they are interested in serving. It should also be noted that the last four elections have been uncontested; in other words, anyone who had the time and inclination to volunteer and offered to serve, was appointed to the Board.
However, the discussion of diversity led me to contemplate the underrepresented area of the BNAA. I would like to propose that we consider amending the Bye-laws to add one director position to the Board with this position dedicated to the road race community. In fact, during the administrations of Mr. Phillip Guishard and Mr. Stanley Douglas (early 1990s, the BTFA had two vice presidents, one for track & field and one for road racing. I am confident, that this addition would ensure that the road race community has their voice at the table and their aspirations or concerns met.
Please note that any structural changes will have to be ratified at the next AGM, but we would welcome a representative to sit on the Board informally now.