Botswana Netball Association (BONA) president Malebogo Raditladi believes her second term in office will afford her committee continuity on the work they started and bear good fruit for the association.
Raditladi and her committee were re-elected into office this past week after a very trying first tenure in office.
Even before the Covid-19 induced suspension of sports this past year, netball had not played competitively since 2019.
The committee will now be seeking to return the game to the courts and ensure they do so safely under the new normal.
The BONA president says they are working hard behind the scenes to secure sponsorships for netball.
“We have started approaching different companies to assist us and that will depend on who will want to be associated with BONA because we have burned too many bridges in the past,” she says.
She however expressed optimism that ‘business people can now see the good that we are trying to do for better development of the girl child in Netball.’
“However, these efforts can only be destroyed by the rowdy behaviour of netballers through social media because sponsors do not want to be associated with any unethical behaviour.”
“They read what we write on social media and how the leadership is degraded and they question that when we approach them for assistance,” the BONA president says.
Raditladi went on to add that if netballers really want to see sponsorship for the game, they ‘need to also reduce what we say out there.’
“The business community want to support us but they are distracted by our own negative behaviour,” she admonishes.
According to Raditladi, the BONA executive wants to see the sport back in the netball courts as soon as it can happen.
“We have presented our plan as was requested by the BNSC and waiting for approval. The main problem is to ensure that the facility meets the COVID-19 protocols, which is why intend to renovate it all.”
On the state of the sport in the country, she says the sport is threatened by internal squabbles between those for and against change.
“The main threat for BONA is internal squabbles that causes resistance to change. They are supported by internal threats within teams that do not have their own vision and are blown by any wind that comes and later damage their own team images in the eyes of the society,” she says.
She says that despite the resistance, they tackling the problem by instilling good administration and governance, and so far, they ‘are winning’ despite ‘the resistance to change by some members who are still hooked in the past.’
“Change management is very difficult. It needs patience, team work, one vision and clean spirit,” the BONA president says.
“Our members heard our cry, and that is what is important for now and they are doing their best to improve their teams’ management and we are also doing our best to assist them.”
Raditladi went on to add that netball has improved a lot over the past four years. She says they ‘are almost done with compliance of teams.’
“We also got administration and financial procedures in place and now have audited reports and made them public and everyone took interest in them and excitedly debated them. Our members are aware of the importance of compliance and governance and we have already empowered 30 members under the BNOC IOC sport admin program,” noted Raditladi.
On the financial state of BONA, she says ‘netball does not have funds that can be mismanaged or be out of control in managing it.’
“We rely on government grant that is very little to cover our costs and with government grant you cannot go without doing returns,” she explains.
She says since taking office, they have not had any sitting allowances ‘just to cover their own personal costs.’
“Instead, we used and still continue to use our own resources to cover the association costs to keep it running. We are not the only NEC doing that. Other codes are also in trouble with that,” she says.
“We continue to do this with the hope of improving the girl child’s life in sport with the grant we receive as it cannot cover everything.”
Raditladi continues to say they are ‘doing their best to ensure financial regulations are followed and through this new manual we will ensure that from now on everybody follows that from teams to the association office.’