Botswana’s renowned umpire Abednico Chetelo will be among umpires officiating at this year’s netball World Youth cup slated for Gaborone from the 8th to 16th July 2017.
Having handled a number of high profile tournaments in the past, the inclusion of Chetelo among the umpires for the netball World Youth cup is viewed as a deserved reward for his tireless efforts.
Chitelo has, among others, officiated at the Netball Europe open championships featuring the likes of heavyweights England and Scotland in Newcastle. His major breakthrough was however at the Sydney 2015 World cup where he was invited to officiate.
According to insiders at the Botswana Netball Association (BONA), despite being a man in the women dominated sport, his determination to excel has pushed him to be among the best African umpires.
It is said that it was his excellent showing in the African Youth World Cup qualifiers last year which caught the eye of the netball hierarchy and eventually nabbed him place at the upcoming youth world cup.
Chetelo is the only Botswana umpire to have made it to the highest grade of officiating and frequently receiving call ups to officiate for the International Netball Federation (INF).
In an interview with The Telegraph, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) Umpires Vice President Technical Lorato Thebekgosi revealed that they are impressed by the progress made by Chetelo in the international arena as it puts Botswana in the map.
“Chetelo has shown the world that we have the talent and potential that can reach greater heights. We are proud that he will representing us as a nation and it is his continued exceptional performance that has earned him a place at the world cup,” Thebekgosi told Sunday Standard.
She further narrated that they are also engaged in umpires’ grassroots and monitoring upcoming umpires. While Chetelo is surely the pioneer, Thebekgosi said they have some good upcoming umpires who are likely to walk in Chetelo’s footsteps.
“We have been assessing our umpires and some have been gradually upgrading well. The likes of Boikhutso Tuelo are fast becoming top notch umpires and soon will be out there among the best after recently acquiring the A licence umpire recognition. It is critical that we have umpires that are recognised by the INF as it builds a case for growth in the local game,” said Thebekgosi.
While the umpiring podium is segmented into International Talent Identified Umpire, (ITID), International Umpires Award (IUA) and the International Umpires’ Award Testing Panel (ITP), Chetelo’s assignment is said to have come under the ITID panel.
When releasing the names of umpires, the INF announced that they also have umpires in case of any withdrawal. ‘’We have Umpires and ITP who have also kindly agreed to be on reserve, in case of any withdrawal. Should a replacement be needed the change related to that will be announced accordingly,” read a statement from the INF.