Dunne voted in as new president of Bermuda Olympic Association
Peter Dunne has replaced Judy Simons as president of the Bermuda Olympic Association, after Simons opted not to seek re-election at Thursday’s Annual General Meeting.
Dunne, who was elected as second vice-president last year, beat Brenda Dale, the first vice-president, for the vacant position. Dale was returned as first vice-president while Julia Hawley retained the post of treasurer.
The three directors, Katura Horton-Perinchief, Patty Petty and Donna Raynor, were also re-elected.
Simons’ tenure ended on a high with Flora Duffy winning Bermuda’s first Olympic gold medal this summer at the Tokyo Games, and then at the recent inaugural Junior Pan Am Games in Colombia where cyclist Kaden Hopkins brought home the silver medal in the time trial.
“At those Games sport in general is looking good,” Simons stated. “I was extremely proud to be there to watch all our athletes compete, from young Jaden Roberts who was the youngest competitor in the archery at 15,” the outgoing president said.
“Then Kaden Hopkins getting a silver in the time trial. Even for the road race the course was not an easy course.
“I’m proud of everything we’ve done over my tenure on the executive board. Proud of all the athletes who competed, tried to qualify, had qualified and represented our country, getting PBs, national records or on the podium.”
Simons is proud to say all the decisions made by the BOA, some controversial and unpopular, were made in the best interest of the sports and the athletes.
“There is never smooth sailing, that’s part of life, the good and the bad, but I never made a unilateral decision,” she stressed.
“All decisions were made at an executive board level. The board doesn’t always agree 100 per cent, which is the democratic process, but at the end of the day the decisions were made in the best interest of the Bermuda Olympic Association and its athletes.”
The decision by Simons to step down was made prior to going to Colombia with the Junior Pan Am Games team. The death of her husband, Campbell Simons, the former Somerset Cup Match player, in September definitely gave her cause to reflect.
“With Campbell’s passing it resealed to me how short life really is, and that it is time for me to enjoy my life with my family and my friends,” Simons said. “It just expedited the decision.
“Having served 25 years with the Bermuda Olympic Association, and the last 13 as its president, I accomplished most of what my mandate was all about during my tenure.
“The only thing I wasn’t able to secure, through obviously tough times, was to get our own Olympic museum. But I think I’ve been very lucky with the group of people I had around the executive board, moving forward with the things we wanted to achieve like youth development and great standards for people to qualify to get to the Games.
“In a lot of ways I thought it was time for a change, you don’t want to stagnate, and it was time we had somebody with new ideas. But I’m still here to help in any way I can.”
Simons is confident new president Dunne will carry on the mission of the BOA.
“He had a good team and hopefully they will stay and work with him,” she said.
“I told him that I’m here to help in any way I can, I said that to all members of the executive board. I may have retired as the leader but that does not mean I’m not willing to assist in some way to keep the movement going forward.”
Dunne is also the president of the Bermuda Bicycle Association, a position he plans to hold on to for the time being.
A total of 23 sports were represented at the AGM along with two representatives from the athletes commission.
“This is a great honour to be elected to lead the Bermuda Olympic Association for the next three years,” Dunne said.
“The support of the members and the feedback I have had from them suggests that there is great enthusiasm for furthering the opportunities for Bermuda’s athletes.
“I hope to be able to work with them and, with the support of the great team in the BOA office, to help realise sporting aspirations and instil new dreams in the minds of younger athletes.”
Dunne stated further to The Royal Gazette: “It was a strong turnout which suggests the level of interest. Definitely, I thought a lot about it, I had the opportunity to observe the BOA from the outside and then the last year I had been inside the fence, as a member of the board.
Dunne’s first term will be for three years instead of four after this year’s AGM was delayed a year because of Covid-19.
He is looking forward to working with Dale, the first vice-president.
“She (Dale) has a ton of experience and that doesn’t happen overnight,” he pointed out.
“I like a challenge and the directions have been identified already. It’s time to roll up the sleeves and start getting to work."
A replacement for the second vice-president post previously held by Dunne will be filled through an election by BOA members in the new year.
That position, along with the half of the board not elected on Thursday, will be up for re-election in the second half of 2022.