The Botswana Netball Association (BONA) will be sending a youthful side to this year’s edition of the Singapore 6 Nations Tournament.
The tournament, which will be hosted in Singapore from December 4 to 14, will feature the hosts Singapore as well Botswana, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Ireland and Samoa.
In a continued drive to slash the average age of the senior national team to below 25 years, the association is injecting a fusion of young blood into the team. In what may look like an overhaul of the senior national team, only team captain and Goal Attacker Portia Rasekhumba is aged over 25 years.
For their latest call to duty, BONA has roped in six uncapped players, all aged 22 years or below into the senior national team fold.
Of the six new faces, three were members of the team that represented the country at the Africa Youth Games while the other three are youth players who were in the periphery of the senior national team setup.
The new uncapped faces are Ndabaka Dumuwa, Chedza Matshaba as well as the teenage quartet of Sarona Hans, Letang Mokgotlhwane, Oarabile Thapo and Boikanyo Selogetso.
While 22 year old Matshaba is no stranger to the national team, having played alongside the likes of Hildah Binang, Tumisang Bagidi and Francinah Eyman in the Under 21 National team, 21 year old TASC player Dumuwa is an all new addition to the ranks.
Commenting on the call up of four teenagers to the team, BONA President Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego said this is meant to fast track their development.
“It has always been a trend for us to fast track some of our teenagers into the senior team. If you look at Ntebogang Motlakaloso, she came into the team as a teenager and she has been a permanent feature ever since. Bagidi also deserved to be fast tracked at the same time as Motlakaloso but we chose to delay her a bit as we felt it would be good for her physical development and she only got a senior call when she was 18 years,” Lebotse-Sebego explained.
While she could not guarantee their continued presence in the senior team going forward, the BONA President alluded that each player’s performance will decide if she will receive any future call up to the senior team.
Despite half of the selected team being uncapped players, Lebotse-Sebego said the team will go to the tournament looking to try and do better than they did when they competed at its last edition.
During their last appearance at the tournament, team Botswana managed to bring home a bronze medal. Botswana will be making her second appearance at the tournament.
The full 12 member Botswana team for the tournament is as follows; Rasekhumba, Motlakaloso, Eyman, Bagidi, Dumuwa, Matshaba, Hans, Mokgotlhwane, Thapo, Selogetso, Hildah Binang and Gosego Tsele.