Sunday, May 16, 2021

Netball stars leave for the Singapore League

Four of Botswana netball’s rising stars will leave the country tomorrow (Monday) for Singapore to play in the country’s Cheers Netball Super League. The four players are Notwane’s Centre Court player Sarona Hans, UB Crystals’ Goal Attacker Violet Oneile, BDF Cats’ Goal Shooter Hildah Binang and Goalkeeper Letang Mokgotlhwane from the Jungle Queens. The four players have been contracted to play for four different teams in this year’s netball Super league. While this will be the second appearance for Binang in the Singapore Super League, it will however be a maiden appearance for the trio of Hans, Oneile and Mogotlhwane.

Binang, who played for the Sneakers Stingrays during her last sojourn at the Singapore Netball Super League will this time around don the colours of Mission Mannas while Hans, Oneile and Mogotlhwane will be contracted to the M1 Sunfish, Magic Marlins and Blaze Dolphins respectively. Oneile, who became the last of the players to be recruited, will go to Singapore as a replacement for the injured Boikanyo Selogetso.

The news of the players’ departure was confirmed by the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) President Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego this past Friday. The BONA President confirmed that the contracts for all the four players have been signed and all is now ready for the players to leave for Singapore.

The move for the local girls comes as no surprise given the heroics of Binang in last year’s Singapore league when the then 20 year old was voted the Most Valuable International player. While Binang will be familiar with the league setup in Singapore, it will however be a completely new experience for the trio of Hans, Oneile and Mogotlhwane.

The enlistment of the duo of Hans and Mogotlhwane in particular is interesting given their tender years. Hans and Mogotlhwane, who are aged 16 and 18 years respectively, were part of the Botswana youth team that did duty during the 2nd Africa Youth Games which were held in Gaborone last year. Despite their tender ages, both the players boast impressive track records in the netball courts. Hans has been voted the best player at all her previous schools, the last of which was at St Joseph’s College in 2013 and 2014.

The youthful player has been part of all Botswana’s junior national and school teams and was recently part of the Botswana senior team that competed at the Singapore Six Nations Tournament. Mogotlhwane, who was also part of team Botswana at Singapore this past year, is also a decorated young player and has played for Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) netball team as well as the National U18 netball team.

The enlistment of the two teenagers is said to be a deliberate plan by the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) to ensure the fast tracking of their growth in netball. The two are expected to form a core of the Botswana U21 Netball team that is expected to represent the country during the 2017 World Youth Netball Championships which will be hosted in Botswana.

Lebotse-Sebego said though the players will be based in Singapore for only three months, it will give them a chance to have a feel of international netball and prepare them for the future.

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