Tuesday, September 26, 2023

From Netball South Africa to BONA with love

If Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tuelo Serufho’s request to Netball South Africa (NSA) leadership was a prayer, it is safe to say it was answered, immediately and emphatically!

Welcoming a delegation of NSA leadership led by president Cecilia Molokwane at the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) courts, the BNSC CEO had pleaded with them to help Botswana qualify for the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Little however did Serufho know his prayers had already been answered. Taking to the podium, Molokwane, said they intend to help Botswana qualify for the 2023 Netball World Cup which will be hosted in South Africa.

To this end, NSA has seconded coach Jenny van Dyk to BONA to train the senior national netball team ahead of the World Cup qualifiers. The Jaguars Netball Club coach is one of the best in the country and has won the South African league title a record five consecutive times since 2017.During her stint at the helm, van Dyk will be assisted by local coaches who will be understudying her.

The NSA president said this is part of the 2023 Netball World Cup legacy program, from which netball South Africa has committed to help Botswana to reclaim lost glory and get back to its once lofty perch in the continent and the world.

Reminiscing on times gone by, Molokwane pointed out that there was a time when South Africa and Botswana were neck in neck in terms of competition in the continent. Unfortunately, she said that time is long gone and Botswana had been backsliding year on year ever since.

Having watched Botswana netballers compete at the last Africa netball championships, the NSA president observed that this could not be due to lack of talent, hence her association’s willingness to lend a helping hand.

As part of intervention at administrative level, Molokwane said NSA had committed itself to work with and empower the BONA administration. Under this intervention, BONA is expected to gain some knowledge from NSA who boast millions of rands in sponsorships.

At the technical level, the NSA president said they will be working hand in hand with BONA to get the country’s coaches to attain the highest accreditations in the world. She said this will get them to be at par with those in South Africa.

In addition to this, Molokwane said they will also be working with the local umpires to help them achieve international level accreditation. She said this will enable them to officiate at the highest level globally.

On infrastructure, the NSA president said her association will donate to Botswana one of their sprung floors worth R2.8 million. The donation will be very welcome for netballers, most of whom have been afflicted by injuries.

As one of the most necessary equipment in netball, sprung floors are assembled in hard playing courts, more especially indoors, to reduce the risk of injury in netballers when they land or fall during a match.

Meanwhile, the NSA president has called on the Botswana netball family to unite and find solutions to take the country’s netball forward. Offering some nuggets of wisdom to the local netball family, Molokwane said it is imperative for all to support the current executive.

She said BONA was lucky to have its current president Malebo Raditladi-Nkgakile as its leader and she should be given support. Molokwane lauded the BONA president for crying out to NSA for help when Botswana netball was sinking, saying such are the telltales of a good leader.


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