Barely less than two years after assuming Botswana Netball Association (BONA) Presidency Malebo Raditladi has a mammoth task of turning around the fortunes of the federation, which has been troubled by inactivity and poor results of the national team of late.
Raditladi took over the baton from Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego in 2017. It has, however, been a tough journey for the new committee as they have to deal with new troubles which have be-deviled the association of recent.
Following the successful hosting of the famous 2017 INF Netball Youth World Cup (NYWC) in Botswana most pundits believed it was the beginning of a new era for local netball, however it has been a different story as the sport has been in great regression.
The senior national team, Dinaledi has been performing badly lately; something which has turned them into the weeping girls of Africa. Dinaledi performed dismally at the 2017, 2018 Pent Series and Africa Netball World Cup Qualifiers.
The local girls lost four games and won two against Zimbabwe and Namibia at the Pent Series but it was not enough as they failed to earn points to improve on their rankings. As if that was not enough, they went on with their poor showing at the World Cup qualifiers in Zambia where they finished on position five out of seven countries with four losses and only two wins.
To add salt to injury there has never been consistency when it came to appointing national team coaches as different coaches were appointed on various occasions when the team reported for camp in order to prepare for international tournaments, something which might be one of the factors which has contributed to the poor results of the team in the past years. This is something that BONA president has associated with lack of good structures to develop more players as well as to govern the association itself.
“As the president I have informed the affiliates about the importance of club administration that will lead to good management of the zones and the national executive committee. My proposal to the rest of the committee was that we have to acknowledge and accept that things are not right and until we as the leadership accept that there is a problem nobody outside will see the crisis BONA has,” Raditladi said.
NYWC 2021 in Fiji
Following the success of the Netball Youth World Cup which was staged in Gaborone, there was hope that the national Under 21 team will qualify for the next edition which is slated for Fiji in 2021.
“Most of the squad from the previous team has aged which means we have Amantle Never as the member from the previous team. At this point in time we are working on the team we used during the AUSC Region 5 games; that’s the team we are grooming for the World Cup. Our dream is to send the team to the Sri-Lanka Six Nations tournament and hopefully we will receive sponsorship from the business community who will partner with us for development,” she said.
Last year, a six weeks league was played under the auspices of Spar Retail Chain, something which rubbed most pundits the wrong way since it was the shortest league ever. However this year again clubs are looking up to the executive committee for league action.
“Our only hope at this moment is Spar because they promised to continue with us last year after they believed that we hosted the games better and for the first time we hosted the thrilling Spar awards and also launched the men’s teams something which impressed them. I strongly believe Spar is with us but we just have to see how we can agree on running the league .I also believe that the local Spar Groups and individual Spars now understand the concept behind the activity and will continue to give us support like they did last year,” said Raditladi.