- BONA spokesperson blames short notice for impecunious state
- Thanks BNSC for helping secure venue and some funds
Botswana Netball Association (BONA) spokesperson Mokeresete Mokeresete has confirmed that Botswana is set to host the prestigious 2023 Africa Netball Cup.
The success of Botswana hosting the 2023 Africa Netball Cup – which is scheduled for 28 November to 6 December in Gaborone, hangs in the balance because Botswana Netball Association (BONA) is in dire financial straits.
Even so, according to BONA spokesperson Mokeresete, the determination to host is unwavering. “We are going on with preparations,” he said in a telephone interview.
Not in camp
“We have accumulated some funds but they are not enough for preparations and to ensure that our team is ready. For now, the team is not in camp because we don’t have the funds necessary to call a camp and provide the necessary meals and allowances.”
Mokeresete pointed to exorbitant competition participation fees as another issue. “We also have to secure funds for such funds and are trying our best to ensure that this competition is a success,” he said.
He iterated his appeal to more companies and individuals to contribute in cash or in kind to support BONA for a smooth running of the competition.
UB Indoor Sports Arena
Acknowledging the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) for its support, Mokeresete thanked the country’s umbrella sports body for assisting to secure some funds and the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Arena as the venue of the competition.
The decision for Botswana to host the event came after Uganda – which had secured the hosting rights during the general assembly of the African Netball – suddenly withdrew, leaving the tournament in limbo.
Botswana and Kenya were then called upon to rescue the event. “However, after showing interest, we made it clear that we did not have the capacity to host, and by ‘capacity’ we meant funds,” Mokeresete noted.
“It must be understood that this is a high-profile tournament, the biggest in Africa. So one can’t just wake up and say they will host it even if they are interested. It requires funds.”
Recognising Botswana’s willingness to step in, the Africa Netball Board met with BONA and the BNSC in early September and collectively agreed to give hosting a try. Each party assumed specific roles, the most critical being securing the necessary funds.
In light of the stark reality of financial privation that is partly due to the short notice, Mokeresete has emphasised that BONA and BNSC remain committed to making the 2023 Africa Netball Cup a success and will tap into Botswana’s previous hosting experience with the Netball World Youth Cup in 2017 for inspiration.