Just like any sporting code, netball has not escaped the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Botswana Netball Association (BONA) President Malebogo Raditladi says the pandemic has been a bad experience ever to happen, and caught them unprepared.
“No one, not even the best in the best in the world in sport had anything to hold onto,” she muses.
“Just like everyone else, our activities came to a total stop. We first followed the BNSC regulations to stop activities then also received communication from Africa and the International Netball Federation (INF) to stop activities,” Raditladi explains.
She further notes that prior to the stoppage of activities, the under 21 national team was on camp preparing for the world qualifiers.
The qualifiers were scheduled to be held in Uganda from the 4th – 10th May, 2020, but were cancelled.
BONA president further notes that the senior national team was also preparing to go on camp in preparation for the Africa cup and the Pent series which was scheduled for Namibia in June.
She says the tournaments were both ranking games, hence it was necessary that Botswana participate in them.
“Our international umpires Abednico Chitelo and Boikhutso Tuelo were scheduled to officiate at the Africa Cup Pent series and qualifiers, hence they were also affected.”
“Our Re ba bona ha activities were going on at Maun, but had to stop. Our zones were in the process of following our affiliate’s submissions for compliance and all those got affected due to the pandemic,” she adds.
For Raditladi and her BONA executive team, it was however not all doom and gloom.
The covid19 break, though an inconvenience, gave them a time to reflect and introspect on their sporting code beyond the pandemic.
“All our affiliates were asked to submit proposals on our plans beyond covid-19, and we have done so,” she explains.
The BONA executive is hopeful that there may be hope for their facilities to be renovated as one of the major requirements for resumption of activities ‘is renovations of the facilities to meet the minimum of covid19 regulations to ensure that everyone will be safe.’
“Our hope is that, due to this uncontrollable pandemic, this time our request will be considered a high priority to the BNSC and government,” she says.
“Our presentation submitted include ensuring the facility meets the regulated standards, fumigating of the facility as well as everyone entering BONA being registered and checked,” Raditladi notes.
Meanwhile, Raditladi says they cannot financially assist teams during this pandemic as they are still having issues with team’s compliance.
“Our teams are still busy with getting their compliance forms ready. At the moment nothing can be done for any team from our side because we are using government funds and that needs accountability and processes followed.”
“Until and unless our affiliates are compliant, they will miss such opportunities. In crisis times like these, this will surely be a good lesson learned,” she says.
“This is why our dream as BONA is to have our teams being professionally administered and running their offices properly so as to be able to get support in times of need,” she explains.
In conclusion, Raditladi says if all goes well, her BONA executive’s vision is for netball to be a good example to all sport codes that good governance and administration pays.
“We believe if we can win to put our administration in order, we will have support of the business community. We will be able to attract sponsors and be able to keep them for life,” she says.
“Good governance makes activities and produce good sport development structures. Good administration is the foundation of a sustainable well-being of any sport code. If we can keep to that, we will never see BONA falling off again,” she concludes.