… World Cup qualifier preps in a mess
By John Tuerijama
IT’S yet to be seen if our national senior team will deliver during the forthcoming Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers slated for Lusaka, Zambia, in August, just as they won the annual Debmarine Namibia Netball Pent Series held in the capital. The pent series saw countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) competing for top honours. The ‘Desert Jewels’, as the senior national side is affectionately known, is faced with financial hiccups and more so now that the ladies are faced with another daunting task to overcome. Speaking to Confidente Netball Namibia (NN) Secretary-General, Imelda Nerongo, said they have written to the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) requesting for financial assistance, of which their letter was forwarded to the Director of Sport in the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service. Nerongo said NN has been promised N$150 000 by the Directorate of Sport, which is less than the actual amount needed for preparations and travelling to Zambia. “The actual amount for international competitions is N$181 000, but we will be forced to source for more funding,” Nerongo said. She said NN was relying on Government 100 percent to assist them with their preparation. “It is not going to be fair to knock again on the door of the company that is assisting us with the netball series,” said Nerongo. She further complained that although the netball players are already in training camp, they are struggling financially with taxi fares to and fro the training ground as most of them are unemployed. “It is really a hustle for these girls who are eager and willing to proudly represent their country internationally. But for us to do well resources are needed and the private sector must honour their socio-economic responsibility towards sport development and funding for national teams,” the NN SG said. Initially, 23 players were called up for the training camp, of which eventually only 12 players and three non-travelling players will be selected for the Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers. Players will be accompanied by the team manager and the coach, while an umpire and two board members will also leave for Zambia to attend an umpire rating course while the board members are scheduled to attend the annual general meeting of Netball Africa. Namibia is currently ranked 28th on the global netball stage, while the Africa ranking is based on competitions which Namibia did not take part in. The Desert Jewels will open their campaign against Uganda on 14 August with their second encounter against Zimbabwe on 16 August. The Desert Jewels, who have a psychological boost after winning the Debmarine Namibia Pent Series earlier this year, have a date against Botswana and Zambia in their final two matches. Nerongo said the Africa world qualifiers will be a tough spectacle for the girls thus proper preparation was of utmost importance to ensure competitiveness at the tournament. The Africa showpiece serves as qualification for the Netball World Cup pencilled for Liverpool, England, in 2019. The World Cup will be the 15th edition with 16 teams expected to strut their stuff for an eventual position on the medal’s podium. South Africa and two other countries are not taking part in the Africa qualifiers because of their ranking, making them two of the five countries to join England who automatically qualified by virtue of being hosts nation. Other participants will be Australia, Jamaica and New Zealand. NSC Chief Administrator Freddy Mwiya said Netball Namibia was one of the lucky beneficiaries whose coverage includes almost everything. He said Sports Commission does not dish out money for international competitions but instead money is sourced from the Ministry of Finance by the sports ministry, which through the Directorate of Sport, makes provision for international participation.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015