Signs two-year contract with Australian side
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.