By John Tuerijama
THE //Kharas regional netball’s team was forced to reimburse the N$7 500 it got from Netball Namibia (NN) early this week after the team failed to pitch at the coastal Demarine Senior Regional Netball championship held in Swakopmund last weekend. Khomas netball team were once again crowned champions after successfully retaining the coveted title made possible by Debmarine Namibia. The girls from the capital city hammered Omusati by 34 points to 10 at the Tamariskia Sports field on Saturday. Khomas walked away N$30 000 richer, while Omusati pocketed N$15 000 and third placed Otjozondjupa settled for N$9 000. //Kharas Sports Officer, Pandu Petrus, said that there were no excuses for the region not to have made the trip to Swakopmund as the N$7 500 transport money was availed on Friday. “I went an extra-mile to ensure that the //Kharas team got transport as I contacted our office in Keetmanshoop including the Governor’s office for assistance. But I was told that the available Quantum minibus was not road worthy as the licence disc expired and the 21-days grace period also expired,” she said. Petrus, a sports officer based in Karasburg, said she went out of her way to try and get the team transport and requested Netball Namibia Secretary-General Imelda Neronga to top up on N$3 000 initially given, to N$7 500. Players based in Rosh Pinah were asked to hitchhike to Keetmanshop to link up with Hardap players, but Hardap had their transport already organised through their Governor’s office. Petrus added that players could not hitchhike because it was a huge safety risk and many were not released from their work stations when the invitation letter was send to the different work places. “I learned on Friday that the team never reached Swakopmund and when I tried calling them Friday evening the player’s phoneswere off. It was only on Saturday that I was told that the players never left,” said Petrus. //Kharas netball team organiser Poppe Shikwata said they tried all possible avenues to secure transport, including the Governor’s office, but with no success. “We could not hire a private combi because it was expensive and that if we did hire one, we also had to pay the driver,” said Shikwata “When we asked the players for financial contributions they told us they had no money and the fact that they had to hitchhike from Rosh Pinah to Keetmanshoop just made matters worse,” she said.The voluntary organiser added that she called for regional trials on 3 August and no player turned up. Shikwata and her sister, Gladys, had to hand-pick players for the regional team. Players for the //Kharas team were mostly based in Karasburg and Luderitz and team selection was made more difficult by the fact that learners could not be selected to compete in the Debmarine netball championship. Netball Namibia Secretary-General Imelda Neronga confirmed that the // Kharas team failed to travel for the tournament and that money was deposited back into their account. She failed to understand why the southern region failed to assemble a team after having been informed of the netball championship five months ago. Nerongo said the national netball body will soon travel to //Kharas to ascertain the facts on the ground and help the region establish the necessary structures.
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