BONA gets pat on back

30 Nov 2023

Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture has hailed Botswana Netball Association (BONA) for stepping in to host the Africa Netball Cup.

Speaking during the official opening of the Africa Netball Cup in Gaborone on Wednesday, Tumiso Rakgare said BONA did well taking into consideration that they had limited time to put everything together. 

He said the tournament, which started on Tuesday and would end on December 6, brought back nostalgia as netball supporters were taken back to the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup, which was held in Botswana. 

Uganda had pulled out of hosting Africa Netball Cup, then Botswana raised her hand to host it. 

However, it was faced with financial challenges. 

And it was through the benevolence of Okavango Diamond Company, Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) and other sponsors who extended a helping hand to BONA so that the tournament can take place.

Rakgare further applauded BONA for the introduction of men’s netball team. 

He said BONA’s efforts of ensuring gender equality in sports did not go unnoticed.

Also, he thanked South Africa through Netball South Africa for their donation of a wooden sprung floor worth P1.8million to Botswana.

He said the donation was part of the 2023 Netball World Cup legacy programme.

He pointed out that the donation was a clear demonstration of sound bilateral decisions and collaborations towards development of netball in Africa.

He said it was his wish to see fortunes of Africa in international sports competitions changing for the better. 

Okavango Diamond Company chief finance officer, Dipesalema Makepe said their company, which was celebrating 10 years of growth and excellence, remained committed to helping communities within which they operated, hence their positive response to BONA’s request.

She said they sponsored the tournament with P300 000 adding that the sponsorship served as a catalyst towards the realisation of BNSC Vision 2028 strategic oath. 

She said the partnership symbolised their collective efforts to elevate the sport and empower athletes as well as contribute to the development of the nation.

She said the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup was a defining moment creating a surge in popularity of netball among girls and women in Botswana.

She said BONA’s accomplishments spoke volumes about their unwavering dedication to excellence and consistently ascending the world rankings. 

For her part BONA president, Malebo Raditladi-Nkgaile said they managed to host the tournament through collaborative efforts of BNSC, sponsors and other stakeholders.

She said had BNSC not stepped in, Africa would have fallen apart in netball.

She added that the tournament would give participating countries the opportunity to improve their rankings. The tournament, which is held every two years, had about six female and four male particpating teams. 

The female teams are Botswana, eSwatini,  Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia while male teams are Botswana, South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe.   

Meanwhile, Dinaledi, the Botswana senior women’s netball team has posited good results as it had already won two of their games thus far.

On Tuesday, the team defeated Kenya 36-28 in the Africa Netball Cup opener, while on Wednesday, it beat eSwatini 55-42. ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Gontle Merafhe

Location : GABORONE

Event : Africa Netball Cup

Date : 30 Nov 2023