Netball league hangs in the balance

In the balance: The start of netball league is uncertain over sponsorship
In the balance: The start of netball league is uncertain over sponsorship

FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Netball Association (BONA) is still searching for a sponsor, casting a cloud over the start of the season, which is scheduled for April or at the latest, May.

After parting ways with regional retail giant, Spar Group two years ago, BONA had no choice but to cancel the league last year after failing to secure another sponsor.

Efforts by BONA to renew their sponsorship relationship with Spar hit a snag.  Instead, Spar chose to sponsor a mini-league in which certain national players from different clubs were selected to participate in order to keep them fit.

The league has been tentatively scheduled to start in April or May. But, without the sponsor in place, the 2015 edition of the BONA Netball League for both the North and South clusters hang in balance.

BONA spokesperson, Ntebo Maplanka could not state the exact dates on which the league is expected to start. She said the exact dates can only be decided by the affiliates at their different zonal meetings after the BONA Annual General Meeting (AGM). Maplanka said there are processes to follow before the league commences even after the AGM to be held on a date and venue yet to be confirmed.  She said BONA is still working around the clock to solicit sponsorship for the 2015 season.

In the event that BONA fails to secure a sponsor, Maplanka said the association will consult with members on the way forward. “(BONA) members will get to make a decision at the AGM regarding the issue of what to do in the event that there is no corporate partner coming on board,” said Maplanka before requesting the business community to support netball.

She said netball is worthy sponsoring because its track record is very clean.

“Netball has mostly brought medals from different competitions, be it regional or international, and this signifies that it is a sport to invest in and be sure of getting value back,” she said.

By sponsoring netball, Maplanka said the business community will be empowering the girl child.

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