With the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup (NYWC) quickly approaching, Botswana Netball Association’s (BONA) build-up to the extravaganza remains a challenge.
Botswana will stage the tournament for the junior national teams when the event makes its maiden appearance on African soil.
Events of this magnitude are expected to set pulses racing across the entire country with their level of mood and excitement. However, nothing much can be written due to the level of silence over the spectacular with only four months ahead of the event.
While BONA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are busy with internal logistics preparing for the tournament, the marketing of event has since been below par.
This has been characterised by reports that there has been lack of funding activities that could assist in promoting the event.
Despite the challenges, the International Netball Federation (INF) has released draft fixtures for the tournament. Drawn in Group C, Botswana is likely to start the tournament against Malaysia with their next fixture against Cook Fiji Islands.
However, while there is lack of action in the domestic netball arena while nations bound to compete in the upcoming World cup have tightened screws in their preparations schedule.
However, speaking to Sunday Standard in an interview, BONA president Tebogo Lebotse Sebego said they were working tirelessly to publicise the event.
She said BONA had earmarked the 100 days intensive promotion ahead of the games. “Our budget as we have indicated before is very limited and we directed it towards getting ready from an operational point of view. Government has made a P 10. 9-million grant towards the netball World Youth Cup. Our branding initiatives will start at 100 days countdown,” Lebotse Sebgo said.
BONA vice president (technical) Lorato Thebekgosi said it was high time they created a vibe that would motivate youngsters to represent the country with pride and composure. She said it was critical for the morale of the players to be boosted by the vibe of the extravaganza.
“We are planning to advance to a stage where our players will feel the support of locals as we are the host of the tournament. It is vital that we promote the event to boost the players’ eagerness to fight for the country during the games,” said Thebekgosi.
She mentioned that the team was currently on camp with a pool of players with the final squad to be announced six weeks prior to the games.
“The team has intensified preparations and is expected to camp in one of the Australian high performance centres in the near future. We want the players to get more exposure by playing international practice matches to test their readiness and we have brought in committed experts to assist the team,” Thebekgosi told said.
“Despite being lowly ranked at 18th in the World, we are aiming to at least finish among the top eight at the end of the tournament,” said.