The Botswana Netball Association (BONA) will use its annual grant from the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) to refurbish netball courts.
The refurbishment would ensure the courts, located behind the National Stadium, comply with coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations.
BONA president, Malebo Raditladi-Nkgakile said the courts had missed out on a facelift during the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup and the 2018 AUSC Region 5 Games.
“As it stands, the courts remain a hazard and the only thing we can do is to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic (to refurbish them). They do not meet any standards expected (at a time of COVID). Maybe this time, someone would see the need to give us money,” she said.
Nkgakile said they have presented their post COVID-19 to the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development and the BNSC.
“Netball is a team sport and based on the classification, a non-contact sport. However, there are many contacts that happen within the playing field seeing that a court is filled with 14 players. The use of one ball by close to 30 people in a single game hence our belief that we need to ensure that we come up with a proposal on how we can mitigate against any fear of infection in future,” she said.
Nkgakile said their priority is
She said it is better to put measures in place and plan for a better future with healthy minds and souls than losing all. Some of the activities that were halted include the Under-21 training camp, as the side was preparing for the Netball World Youth Cup Africa qualifiers that Uganda was supposed to host in May. The senior national team’s preparations for the Africa Cup and the Pent series that were both scheduled to be hosted by Namibia were affected. The Re Ba Bona Ha skills development programme in Maun was also halted. BONA also suspended processing three players’ move to Australia.
“We plan to meet the northern zone this coming weekend in Francistown. From there, we would meet with athletes, grassroots coaches and other stakeholders like Botswana Integrated Sports Association, Botswana Primary Schools Sports Association, Botswana Brigades Sports Association and Botswana Tertiary Students Sports Association.
Even those playing constituency league are included because the regulations that we would put in place would affect all who play netball across the country,” Nkgakile said.