Botswana Netball Association (BONA) and government has assured the International Netball Federation (INF) that Botswana is ready to host Netball World Youth Cup.
The sentiments were shared by Minister of Sport Thapelo Olopeng during the NWYC draw on Thursday. He said the country was ready to host the tournament which will have a long and lasting legacy in Botswana sport.
“A draw is a high point of activity, which is itself a demonstration of commitment. This particular draw is a demonstration of the commitment of INF, in partnership with Botswana, to deliver the Netball World Youth Cup in July 2017,” Olopeng said.
He said that hosting the NWYC was important to Botswana as it showed progress in the sport development in the country. It is the first time Botswana is hosting the world event and it is the first time the NWYC is staged in Africa.
Olopeng also observed that hosting of youth competitions was important for sport.
“A youth competition is always more important, as it is a training ground for future competitions and stars. A youth competition creates a pool from which we all expect to draw in future. It is a motivation for firming up in excellence,” he said.
Olopeng was adamant that the NWYC had the affective effect of empowering the young girls to become great leaders.
INF President Molly Rhone thanked the government of Botswana for the support they give to sport.
“I would like to thank the Government of Botswana for the support they have given, firstly, in winning the bid, and secondly for their continuing support to the Local Organising Committee,” Rhone said.
The INF president also encouraged all Batswana to rally behind the games.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase Botswana to the world and I’m urging everyone here to take ownership of this event and make the greatest effort to support the organising committee, and the Botswana team in whichever way you can, she said.
She said the games were not just about the 10 days in July, but “more importantly it’s about the lasting legacy and the tangible economic impact hosting such an event can bring to Botswana”.
She said one of the key strategies for the INF over the next four years is to ensure that stakeholders, fans, teams and broadcasters enjoy thrilling world class events.
“I have no doubt that Botswana will make this, the first major international event in the new four-year strategic plan, a truly spectacular event,” Rhone.
Twenty countries from across the world will compete in the 2017 world cup.