Botswana’s youth netball team will pin their hopes on Australia-based Sarona Hans when the country takes part in the upcoming Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC) in Gaborone on July 2017.
Since the beginning of March this year, Hans has been in fine form for the Wildcats.
The 19-year-old lass’ form has since seen her promoted to become one of the crucial members of Wildcats’ first team, which plays in the Australian state league.
Speaking in an interview with Sunday Standard, the Karakubis-born athlete was excited at her progression from a development team player to the Australian state league, all in the space of one year.
Now, as Botswana prepares to face the world at the netball world youth cup, all eyes will be on the well experienced starlet to lead the team and the youngster is relishing the prospect.
“I started playing regularly beginning of March this year and it is an exciting journey thus far. It will be critical of me to bring along the experience to the world cup as I play in the state league against some experienced players in one of netball’s best ranked country,” Hans said.
While cognisant of the fact that the other teams coming for the world cup are ranked higher, Hans is optimistic that the local girls will compete during the games.
“The gap between Botswana and some of the qualified nations is not that much in terms of rankings so it’s all about working and supporting each other as teammates. I had short stints with the team in a few training sessions and believe there is something to fight for. The last sessions was during the Easter holidays and preparations were clear that are at an advanced level,” Hans said.
She said despite playing a different kind of ball game at the moment in Australia, it was vital that she got a chance to understand the strengths and weaknesses of her teammates.
“My teammates have always been supportive when I joined them in camp and this has assisted in closing the gap between us. Playing in a much competitive environment, I have realised that at times I am faster so it is critical that we both adjust to suit our playing capabilities,” said Hans.
While it is a challenge for national coaches to monitor Hans abroad, she told this publication that the technical team consistently get in touch with her to catch up with her conditioning.
“The national coaches continue to get in touch with me on a regular basis. I have been given a training programme that I try to follow and can’t wait to represent my country at the highest level,” concluded Hans.