Despite having no running league for almost two seasons, Notwane Netball Club has not been demoralised. The club has still committed to youth development and empowerment as they continue to mentor young players and give them life skills. The club is helping young netballers survive the devastating effects of unemployment. On Wednesday the club held a workshop for the young players to enlighten them on how they can take advantage of existing youth initiatives.
The Notwane Netball Business Clinic 2015 was held under the theme ‘Find your enterprising spirit’. Notwane Netball club chairperson, Neo Gwafila-Bulayani said they have been concerned by the number of unemployed youth in their team.
Gwafila-Bulayini said the business clinic was in response to the overwhelming unemployment issue among the players. “Notwane Netball, as a club, is faced with youth unemployment amongst our club members, and we feel that by running this workshop, we will equip them to find their enterprising spirit and possibly partner with other youth to form start-ups to create employment for themselves,” she said. She, however, pointed out that they were not only looking at Notwane players as they have invited players from all the netball teams. Seventy-five players were expected to attend the workshop but only around 35 turned up. Even though the turn out was not satisfactory, Gwafila-Bulayani said it was a good initiative. They intend to make it an annual event.
According to Gwafila-Bulayani, the main objective of the workshop is in line with Botswana Netball Association’s (BONA) mandate of improving the lives of netball players. She said with the information the young players get from the workshop they can make good decisions to open up businesses to create employment for others. Some of the institutions that facilitated at the workshop include Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), and University of Botswana Business Clinic. Speaking at the workshop CEDA Communications manager Leatile Bakwena advised the participants to be more innovative and come up with unique projects that would be sustainable.
Bakwena raised his concern that these days Batswana have a tendency of duplicating businesses that already exist which either leads to market saturation and eventually poor performance. He called on the youth to avoid relying more on consultants and come up with their own ideas so that they can better understand what they want to do. The participants appreciated the initiative, saying it will help them venture into businesses. Oneile Obonetse said they have learnt a lot from the workshop. “We used to hear about all these programmes only on Radio and now we had the chance to meet with the facilitators face to face,” she said.
Obonetse said the workshop was very fruitful and wished it was conducted for all youth across all the sporting codes because they too need the information. According to Obonetse, she is now determined to pursue her business dream now that she has information on what is required. The participants had an opportunity to interact, discuss and gain greater understanding of government funding bodies and youth programmes.