Botswana’s leading netball umpire Abednico Chitelo is looking forward to becoming the first local umpire to officiate at the World Netball Youth Cup Games.
Chitelo is the only local candidate who was selected together with other international umpires to officiate at the cup games slated for July 2017 in Gaborone.“I believe my contribution to the netball fraternity means a lot to the community and I am humbled to have worked myself this far to register Botswana at international level.
Everything that I do, I always remember that I am representing my country, that has always been my number one motto,” he said.He has umpired in other international netball games such as world university games before but his heart beams with much excitement to be part of the 2017 umpiring delegation.The world netball governing body - International Netball Federation (INF) - observes and keeps record of all affiliates hence Chitelo’s profile seemed to have impressed the INF.
Although netball is mostly associated with females, Chitelo said officiating at the NYWC is his calling. “It came naturally and as a teacher I found myself surrounded by my children most of the time, I realised that I can communicate better through netball.”He traces his journey in netball as far back as the early nineties and has since been focused in developing and nurturing young talent. Chitelo is currently the head coach of University of Botswana (UB) Crystals Netball Club, one of the best netball teams the country has.
For her part, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) president, Tebogo Sebego-Lebotse, said Chitelo’ s achievement means a lot to the association, “We are proud that he has been given such an opportunity and we hope that more Batswana will continue receiving international recognition,” she noted. She explained that BONA is committed to supporting all Batswana umpires, coaches and even players in any way possible to further develop the code in the country.