Netball World Youth Cup legacy to linger on
The just ended 2017 Netball Youth World Cup (NWYC) will forever be remembered as one of the greatest sporting achievements as Botswana etched itself in the minds of the International Netball Federation (INF) history books. Gazette Sport correspondent Thabang Regoeng analyses the full throttle enthusiasm and a lasting legacy the nation will benefit from the eight day tournament.
For the first time in our sports fraternity, the city answered pleas from the Botswana Netball Association to attend games with loud cheers of the tournament tagline “Re a ba tsaya” in social media and digital platforms.
One of the most encouraging aspects of the World Cup was the way locals warmed up to the tournament, from the nation’s top brass President Khama, members of the National cabinet and spectators from different sports codes.
Break-through for local netball stars
With the pressure cranked up to fever pitch following the start of the tournament, coach Botlhole Mmopi’s troops stepped up and impressed potential international scouts in attendance.
An array of star players in Cheludo David, Pearl Maribe and Amanda Never all played a huge part in the success of the team at the tournament. Dinaletsana did not just grind out results, they did it in supreme style with the kind of rampant attacking masterclass especially in their first two wins over Malaysia and Cook Islands.
Lure of private & government entities investment in Sports
Prior to the start of the tournament, most sceptics pointed out at the enormous cost of hosting as the local organizing committee (LOC) revealed a staggering P30 million budget for the tournament. Throw in the mouth watering sponsorship deals from Brand Botswana, Botswana Tourism Board, Local government and Rural government and Debswana the tournament highlighted the aura that sports brings to a nation.
New hosting opportunities for other sports codes
Perhaps the saving grace for locals despite the failure to win the tournament is the ability of the country’s sports facilities to host international tournaments.
The University Of Botswana (UB) Indoor Sports Center is an ultra modern arena with basketball, volleyball, netball, badminton, squash and tennis courts with a capacity of 3 418 seats. Naysayers need to remember this was the first time an International Netball Federation world cup event was staged in Africa. Now the onus lies largely on other sports codes in karate, volleyball, badminton to follow suit and bring the world to Botswana again.