The local netball league is currently languishing in limbo just months after Botswana hosted the successful 2017 Netball Youth World Cup in Gaborone.
As things stand, there is no netball league action and there seems to be no definite answer as to when it will resume. It was just over a year ago when the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) ran a successful league with assistance from loyal sponsors in My Spar supermarket chain. Prior to this, there was a four-year drought when the netball league was not active.
Supermarket retailers Spar were the last national league title sponsors. However it is not yet clear where the relationship between Spar and BONA is heading.
However, what perhaps raises eyebrows and causes mixed emotions within the netball family is that BONA is reported to have a healthy P500 000 bank balance. The amount was announced a few weeks back during the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Palapye.
However this week , sources close to the matter said the BONA leadership maintains that the association’s coffers remain in a bad state despite the six-figure bank account that was announced at their recent AGM.
After successfully hosting the NYWC this year and a splendid performance from the local team Dinaletsana, BONA promised Batswana that the under 21 team will be nurtured and assisted to grow. However, some of the team is reported to be idling in the streets.
According to BG Sport sources, the Dinaletsana team members are now wasting their talent, as they lay idle. “Some of these athletes did not do well at school and they are roaming the streets. Some of the lucky ones are now in military training because they need to find means to survive,” the source said.
The source who prefers anonymity accused BONA of not giving the situation the urgency it requires and that the negligence weighs heavily on the national team. “They are killing netball altogether, some of us are left out when it comes to decision making and this has caused a rift within the association.”
Moreover, some team coaches expressed concern over close ties with South African netball authorities. “Such relationships are now affected by the lack of action,” the source said. Reached for comment on the matter, BONA spokesperson Theresa Hirschfeld said she could not comment on the issue. “I will only be in a better position to talk after the Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego led Committee hands over everything to us on the 11th November.”