The 2017 Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC) organisers are pleased with the reception from Batswana during a 10-day tour of the netball trophy around the country, which ended on Friday.
The tour began on June 21 and took the trophy and the games’ mascot, Naletsana, around the country. Botswana hosts the NWYC from Saturday until July 16.
National team netball player, who was also the trophy tour coordinator, Samantha Mbakile said Batswana welcomed them warmly in each place they visited. She said in each location, the residents were helpful because they assisted them with the preparations at the various Kgotla.
“I am proud to say that Batswana are behind the events because the support we got from most of Batswana around the country was abundant. The mayor of Francistown pledged a signed ball to Dinaletsana and people were signing the ball while in Kang people at the Kgotla pledged P1,200 to show that they are really behind the 2017 NWYC,” Mbakile said.
She said lot of people showed support particularly in Francistown. For his part the LOC representative during the trophy tour, Patric Tlotleng said the trip was a success because Batswana were ready for the event in the tour.
He said people are part of these games and they were surprised in some localities where the games slogan ‘ReaBaTsaa’ had been translated to respective vernacular languages spoken
“Now that Batswana know what the importance of the tournament is, it is up to LOC to set up a massive and beautiful, unforgettable opening ceremony. This would give our players motivation and powerful support during their opening game and throughout the tournament,” Tlotleng said.
He said it would be wonderful for Batswana to continue to show their support for the team through attending matches. He further said that the event means a lot for the country and it would be exciting if most people are part of it, adding that they are grateful for the encouragement from community leaders during the tour.
He said the country is ready to welcome other countries for the historic tournament, a first for Africa and Botswana. Meanwhile, the Cooks Island are already in the country with Jamaica, Barbados, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Samoa, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago and Fiji arriving tomorrow.
While Grenada, South Africa and New Zealand arrive on Wednesday. Malaysia, who are Botswana’s first opponents on Saturday night, arrive on Thursday, together with England, Singapore and Australia.