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No May day Joy for Netball

Baitshepi Sekgweng
MISSING IN ACTION: Netball league
  • BONA now targeting 18th June for league return

Back in March, Lucara Botswana threw local netball a much-needed life jacket, pumping P300,000 into the static sport in an attempt to get it moving again.

Thanks to the newly secured sponsorship, after four years without league action, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) predicted they would be able to have a league up-and-running again by May.

However, May has come and gone and the league has not.

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Explaining the delay, BONA spokesperson, Mokeresete Mokeresete, admitted arrangements had taken longer than expected.

No May day Joy for Netball
OPTIMISTIC: Mokeresete

“Preparations of the league, which included the renovation of the facility (BONA Courts), procurement of teams playing kits and refresher courses for officials are still ongoing, hence change of dates,” he told Voice Sport.

Despite the slight setback, Mokeresete maintained the dawn of a new era for local netball was imminent, stressing the association are ‘quite confident’ the league will start on 18th June.

“We had our last league in 2018, so we had to put all our structures in terms of human personnel and resources in place. Also, we want to ensure that all our structures are compliant. It wouldn’t have been wise for us to rush to start the league when certain areas which needed to be availed and refreshed have not been attended to accordingly,” he insisted.

Mokeresete was quick to point out Lucara were being kept in the loop.

“We are in constant communication on every stage of the preparations with the league sponsor and they are fully aware of every step we take,” he stated.

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The league will be divided into two zones, featuring eight teams in the south and five in the north in the ladies’ section. The top four from each division will then proceed to the knock-outs. There will also be a men’s division, including six teams in the south and two in the north.

Lucara’s backing and a return to domestic action comes at an ideal time for the national team, who are set to take part in the Africa World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa, Pretoria from 20th – 27th August.

“We had the mini league and then Fast 5 tournaments, events which kept the players fit. The Fast 5 has yielded much-needed results in preparing the team and so is the national team camp. Once the league starts, it will also help a lot,” predicted Mokeresete.

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