A mammoth task awaits the incoming Botswana Netball Association (BONA) executive committee. All eyes will be on the Malebogo Raditladi-led committee to turn tables around at BONA to bring back the national league which has been on hold for the past four years. Raditladi was elected new BONA president last weekend after Tebogo LebotseSebego’s 10 years reign came to an end. In the past 10 years, netball saw a significant growth with Botswana ranked among Africa’s top five countries. However, there has been no national league since 2013 when sponsorship from Spar Botswana ended. This has negatively affected the players and the growth of netball locally. It is for this reason that the incoming committee will be having a mountain to climb to restore the league. Raditladi has admitted that have financial problems at BONA that have hindered them from running the league. She, however, said it is her desire to see the league back running very soon. She could not put any timeframe to this because the committee has not yet met. The handover to the new committee is expected to take place sometime in November. “Before anything, we will have to meet with all the committees under BONA to get to know their needs and solicit ideas on how to best work together going forward. We cannot just come in and tell people what to do while we do not know their needs,” said Raditladi. However, since she has been serving in the previous committee, she said the main problem has been shortage of finances as well as lack of proper development structures. She said these will be top of her agenda. Raditladi believes that if there were proper structures in netball, Botswana would be having a lot of quality players than at the moment. She said having good structures for athletes; umpires and coaches will help them revive netball.
As for finances the committee will have to work extra hard to solicit sponsorships for the league, tournaments and administrative running of the association. With the previous committee having been unable to restore the league Raditladi and her team have a mountain to climb. Though she acknowledges the task ahead of them of finding sponsors, Raditladi remains confident that something will come out. “Finances have always been a problem but we will be working hard to talk to everyone around who can help us financially so that we can start the league as it is a priority,” she said. Raditladi said it is important to have the league up and running because without it, even the growth of the promising U-21 national team players will suffer. Raditladi called on all BONA stakeholders to come on board to help revive the beautiful game of netball. She said the Zonal committees should also do something to source finances for their activities. She said the north and south regions should not only look at the mother body for funds but make their own initiatives to get some help. Soon after hand over Raditladi said the new committee will be benchmarking with neighbouring and regional countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya on how best to expedite the growth of netball in Botswana.
New incoming committee
President: Malebogo Raditladi
VP Projects & Events: Seipei Gaelesiwe
Secretary General: Dr Hulela
Treasurer: Bina Kepadisa
Development officer: Masego Serumola
Marketing & PR: Theresa Hirschfeld