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Uncertainty Over Local Netball Players’ Move To Australia

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TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

Due to the damnable COVID-19 pandemic, it is uncertain whether top national team players will get a chance to boost their careers in the Australian netball league, Gazette Sport has established.

This publication made the discovery in the course of an interview with Botswana Netball Association (BONA) president Malebo Raditladi. She said because of the pandemic, it is uncertain whether national team players Fatima Dino, Kgomotso Matibini as well as Tumisang Bagidi will join a Canberra based team named The Capital Spirit Franchise (Netball ACT). It plays in the New South Wales (NSW) Premier League in Sydney, Australia.

According to Raditladi, the players were supposed to move to Australia for a period of 22 weeks (29th April-23rd September). “But they were not able to go due to the travel restrictions,” Raditladi said. “We however, had a talk with the club and they told us that they will try to get back to us when things have normalized. It is our hope that they will do so and consider them again; even if it can get to next year.”

While in Australia, the players who are the pivotal members of the senior national team were to be under the mentorship of Kate Carpenter who is Head Coach at the club. This is the lady who has previously worked with local players; she was the national team (U20) technical advisor during the Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC) which was held in Botswana in 2017. Dino and Matibini were part of the team.

With that, Raditladi said the players were also to get additional support provided by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Academy of Sport primarily through strength and conditioning within the Australian Institute of Sport Facilities.

Raditladi further told this publication that BONA has always had a good relationship with Australian netball fraternity as Botswana was once invited to go and bench at the country prior to the 2017 NWYC games. “Three of our players in Sarona Rapoo nee Hans, Winnie Hills and Onalenna Theetso also got elite scholarships and were admitted in Universities in Australia,” she said.

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