By John Tuerijama
THE perennial problem of funding in Namibian sport has negatively affected Netball Namibia’s preparations for the upcoming Under-21 World Cup qualifying tournament in Botswana.
After struggling to secure competitive friendly matches ahead of the tournament, the netball association has had to rely on local opposition to keep the young girls in shape.
Team manager, Imelda Nerongo said normally, ahead of such big competitions, international friendly exposure is preferred to thoroughly assess players’ fitness and competitive levels “but due to lack of funding this never happened. The coaches had limited resources available and made use of local first division teams to give the girls some game time.”
“Additionally we had some hiccups in terms of having a full squad of 12 players at training. We had issues of players who were part of the TISAN Netball Team to Miami as well as other players from Erongo region as well as players from South Africa who could not fully be with the team,” said the team manager.
Despite the challenges faced during the team’s preparation, Nerongo is nonetheless confident of a good showing in Botswana.
The team departed for Botswana today and will already be in action against current African champions, Malawi on Monday.
Said Nerongo: “Malawi has not seen our team, therefore, for now we are all equal competitors. Our second game is against Uganda, also an upcoming netball giant. I trust we have all had opportunity to prepare our team and we are up for the challenge with no thought that they (opponents) could be better than us.”
“We are so thankful for the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) who through the Directorate of Sport paid the team’s accommodation, transport and meals while Atlas Copco paid for the national tracksuits,” she said.
She expressed her appreciation to Naankuse and Pointbreak who sponsored playing gear and other individual companies who dished out warm-up t-shirts.
The winner and final loser in Botswana will qualify to compete in the Under-21 World Cup Netball Cup, which will also be hosted in Botswana next year.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015