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Cheludo: The world at her feet

SHARE   |   Monday, 14 October 2019   |   By Baitshepi Sekgweng
Cheludo Cheludo

Signs two-year contract with Australian side

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At the age of 21, Cheludo David has   the world at her   feet. Despite   the  current  hardships  which have  be-devilled  the   local netball   fraternity   she has  stood out  among   the rest  to prove  her mettle and  live  her  dream – a perfect  example   of  how a   good  player should be like. She is a dedicated hard worker to her craft.

The goal shooter rose to stardom in 2017 as a sterling member of the national under 21 side Dinaletsana that participated in the Netball Youth World Cup which was held in Gaborone. Since then she has become a household name with her performances earning her a slot outright in the senior national team. David, who  started  playing netball  in 2015  has  swiftly risen to the summit of the sport with dreams of playing  professional  seems to be  becoming  true. She was always into sports even before joining netball.

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“I started playing netball in 2015   during my final year as a form five student and that was at Shashe River School. Later that year I played   Botswana games  and  it  was the  beginning  of   a new era for  me because   previously  I was  a basketball  player. But due to the influence of my father I ended up in the netball courts and in a short period of time I have made my mark,” she reminisced.

Following   her   debut at the Botswana Games, Cheludo later joined Francistown-based netball   team TASC which plays in the national league. However, in  2016  she attracted  the  eyes of the national  team  scouts  who selected her to be part of  the  Under 21 side  and played during   the  qualifiers   of the  NYWC.

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Fast forward   to 2017  she  was  in the  final  squad  which represented  Botswana  at the  World  Cup  and it  was  her heroics  together  with her compatriots Fatimah Dino and Boikanyo Selogetso  which  set  tongues  wagging locally and internationally with  the performances stimulating interest from some Australian teams. And then 2019 came and her dreams became a reality.

Three  months back  the  Sebina native  was in  Australia  to undergo trials   with  Wood Panthers Netball  Club  which  did not waste time by signing her on a  two-year deal; something which she describes as her highlight of  her career.

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“It was three months   period and it was really great but I want to see myself playing for the bigger league in Australia. The time was short because I was learning a lot and enjoying. Honestly I’m excited because I think this is the beginning of my netball career,” she declared.

“It was a great experience because people were very much welcoming and made me to   feel at home. They  tried their  best  to make sure  that I had good  food  that  I am use to  even though  it was  hard  for them. Yeah, the  trials where very successful  and I have signed a  two-year  contract with the  club  which means  I am  going  back  in  January. I will say I started off good and kept on improving with games and that showed I was learning and understanding what I was told to do by my coaches,” she said.

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Standing at 1, 9 metres, Cheludo has 12 national team caps having represented both the senior and junior teams at various international events. Amongst her major achievements  are silver medals from 2015 Botswana Games, My Spar My Botswana national league and Under 20 Africa Union Sports Council Region  5 games which were held in Angola in 2016 just to  mention a few.

With   the local netball    being dormant   due to  the  absence  of a  league sponsor  Cheludo   said what  matters the most is securing a sponsor such that teams  can  have a chance to  play and get the best from players.

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“Here  in Botswana  we only need  a sponsor to  improve as much as we have some to   inject  money   for the  games  to  go  on  everything  will roll out  smoothly. Netball in Australia is very quick on the pitch. There is less movement of the players which means it is only   the ball which moves regularly and quite honestly they   are advanced,” she shared.   



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