The Botswana senior netball national team will be gunning for Africa’s top netball prize at the Africa Netball Championship to be hosted in Namibia later this month. The tournament will look to attract countries such as Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Kenya, South Africa and the host Namibia; it will get underway in Windhoek from June 28 – July 4.
Despite the team not seeing much international action of late due to limited competitions, preparations for the tournament have gone well and the ladies are raring to go.
Speaking in an interview with this publication the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) president Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego, explained that the preparations for the Championships are on the right track and believes the ladies will be fully primed up ahead of the tournament.
“Right now the main activity that is going on is preparing the national team for the Africa Championships coming later this month in Namibia. The team has been in camp for some time now, they are expected to have the final camp on the 12th of June. We had 20 ladies in camp and the squad has been trimmed down to 15 players but we are expected to have 12 players for the tournament,” stated Lebotse-Sebego.
The BONA president explained that although the national team will be going into the games with eyes set on attaining a medal position, they will also be looking at giving youngsters the necessary experience with 2017 being the bigger picture.
“Our target is to win a medal of any sort but our main target is to ensure that the final team includes a few players targeted for 2017. The games are also important since this competition is a ranking tournament, we will want to improve our rankings as well,” she elaborated.
This year’s Championship seems a bridge full of blessings for BONA with the country’s representation to increase with three Batswana umpires appointed by the International Netball Federation (INF) to these games being Abednico Chetelo, Lillian Mooki & Victor Tuelo.
Chetelo, who is an Africa grade A recognized umpire is slowly forming part of the INF’s trusted umpires world-wide after being appointed the first Motswana and fewest of African umpires who will show trade at the 2015 Sydney World cup.
Still in Namibia, Windhoek later this month, the Africa Netball Federation will stage its Annual General Meeting and Elections. Botswana’s Lebotse-Sebego currently reigns at the top of the association, after being entrusted with the duties in 2010.
She also confirmed that she will be stand as the President of association for her second term.
“I am going to contest again, as it is very important because Botswana is prepareing to host the 2017 World Youth Netball Cup. It is also vital as Africa Netball continues to solidify its position as the body recognized by the INF for the development of netball in Africa,” closed the BONA President.