Thursday, October 28, 2021

Netball starlet’s career hampered by injury

The career of one of the country’s budding netball stars, Winnie Hill, has been hampered by a niggling injury, that’s according to the Botswana Netball Association (BONA).

Hill, who is an Elite Scholarship Fund beneficiary, has had a massive injury which deterred her from taking part in the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup.

The Elite Scholarship Fund was established to assist excelling athletes both sport wise and academically; and their achievements as youngsters, provided they met set standards by the government.

The fund is allocated not less than P1 million every year and is limited to not more than four outstanding athletes every year, and it is said it was the first time BONA benefited from such a grant.

The revelations comes as questions are being asked on the whereabouts of the young athlete who had seemingly faded into obscurity since leaving for Australia along with the duo of Sarona Hans and Onalenna Theetso.

While the likes of Hans and Theetso have continually been seen on the Australian and local netball scenes as per the scholarship contract, Hill, who was expected to be part of the 2017Gaborone Netball World Youth Cup has been amiss.

During the said games, Hans led Botswana’s Dinaletsana team as a captain while Theetso, who was not eligible to play, was a commentator.

Despite her absence, BONA says Hill still bears the interest of the country at heart and has always expressed her wish to pass on the learnt techniques to fellow netball players and aspiring ones as well.

Thebekgosi further highlighted that Hill was called for camp selection for the world cup like her duos, but could not make it due to an injury that was troubling her. She said, “Winnie’s injury is the only reason that kept her away from taking part in the world cup, if not for it she would have been available and winning many people’s hearts.”

Speaking in an interview, BONA Vice President Technical Lorato Thebekgosi said the most important aspect of the sponsorship was that the local girls be able to learn the game by playing in a more competitive environment in a country ranked number one worldwide.

“The plan is for the girls to learn the administration of the sport and this entails joining teams in their respective areas in Australia,” Thebekgosi explained.

She added that it was critical for the girls to get more knowledge on how the sport is organized in their teams and the associations, a knowledge which they will be expected to bring home to grow the sport.

Attempts made by this publication to reach out to Hill proved futile as she claimed to have not been able to answer the questionnaire sent to her as she had an appointment with her doctor.

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