Netball preps gain impetus with LOC launch

Netball World Youth Cup Gaborone 2017 local organising committe.PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Netball World Youth Cup Gaborone 2017 local organising committe.PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

The Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng yesterday launched the 2017 World Netball Youth Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) at an event held in Phakalane.

Last year, Gaborone was awarded the rights to host the competition in July 2017.

It will be the first time the tournament is played in Africa. Twenty countries; including Australia and Belgium, will participate.

Olopeng said the decision to give Botswana Netball Association (BONA) the decision to host the games is a vote of confidence. He added that it is a big achievement for Botswana sport. He emphasised that such vote of confidence comes with responsibility and high expectations to deliver. Olopeng said the LOC must put in place appropriate plans to deliver successful games in 2017.

“When government acceded to the request by the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) to bid for the hosting of the games, my ministry committed a budget of P15 million over three years for both team preparation and hosting the tournament,” he said.

Olopeng said the government’s contribution would not cover the total cost of the international netball event. He called upon private companies to support the games financially.

The LOC will be in charge of among other things, putting together a world-class event and to deliver a legacy for Botswana netball through sustainable netball development in the country.

Chairperson of the LOC, Prisca Mokgadi said there was a need for infrastructure development.

She said two indoor facilities should be built because the games cannot be played outside. She said the facilities should have sprung floors, adding that a single floor cost P1, 5million.

“We currently have one indoor facility at the University of Botswana and does not have a sprung floor. The facility will also cater for other sporting codes,” said Mokgadi.

BONA president, Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego said the dream to host the competition started off as something far fetched. She said the bid document was demanding and took a lot of effort to compile. She said when they submitted the bid in 2012, she was confident that they had done their best as Botswana to demonstrate the ability to host the games in 2017.

“The importance of the Netball World Youth Cup cannot be overemphasised,” Lebotse-Sebego said. “It is a powerful pathway towards unearthing future talent and stars.”

The LOC members: Prisca Mokgadi, Tebogo Kesupile (vice chairperson), Girish Ramakrishna, Biki Mbenge, Neo Gwafila-Bolayane, Tsoseletso Magang, Gaokgakala Lemmenyane, Stephen Stoneham, Dr Odiseng Lesedinyana, Setshidi Botlholeng Moopi, Tebogo Lebotse Sebego, Mpho Gaobakwe and Tiny Diswai-Moremi.

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