• Team has tussled with Police U-20 and two mixed senior teams in prep matches
  • Coaches Dema and Mawela to name final squad by end of November
  • BONA says the girls are in a mean mood this time around



Botswana’s Under 20 netball team is in camp to prepare for the Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 Games (AUSC) that are scheduled for 2 to11 December in Malawi.
According to the Marketing and Public Relations Officer of Botswana Netball Association, Mokeresete Mokeresete, the team has actually had a series of training camps in preparation for the biennial tournament already.

Two coaches
The final 12 women’s team – which will be led by two coaches, Neo Dema and Kagisano Mawela – will compete against five teams from the southern African region, namely South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe and hosts Malawi.

Mokeresete said the team has played three practice matches so far as a part of their training camps, tussling with Police Under 20 and two mixed senior teams.
“The team has had a good number of training camps, doing this with the Botswana National Sports Commission,” he said. “We are very much hopeful that these girls will go out there and perform.

“You will remember that we hosted these games in Botswana in 2018. They were supposed to be held in Lesotho in 2020 but were postponed to 2021.”

He stated that the last time the country’s U-20 team put on a good show was in 2016 when the Games were held in Angola. “We came out in second position after South Africa,” Mokeresete said. “That was a team that we were preparing for the 2017 Youth World Cup that we hosted here in Botswana.

“We performed poorly thereafter. There were eight teams in 2018 and we got Position 8. We went on to get Position 5 out of five teams in 2021. We still have the same group girls but they are in a completely different mood for this tournament.”


Looking ahead to 2024
He noted that most of the players in the Under 20 team are league players. “We want to scoop a medal at the AUSC Games but we do not want to put them under too much pressure because we are looking at using them in the 2024 World Youth Netball Qualifiers,” he pointed out.

“We have experienced coaches leading this team. You will recall that Neo Dema took this team to the AUSC Games in Lesotho last year while Kagisano Mawela was the Assistant Coach of the Under 21 for the Youth World Cup that we hosted in 2017.”

The two coaches are expected to name a final 12 for the squad before the end of November.

“This is a competition that comes every two years but there was a disruption when all sporting activity was halted because of Covid-19,” Mokeresete said.