Towering Cheludo tipped to shine

Cheludo flew out to Australia for trials
Cheludo flew out to Australia for trials

A colossal, towering figure mesmerised the local crowd during the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup held in Gaborone. Standing at just a few centimetres shy of two metres, at 1.91m to be precise, Cheludo David announced herself to the biggest stage, with an incredible goal-shooting ratio.

Undoubtedly talented, David is still an unpolished gem.

At the time she was just 19-years-old and had been involved in the sport for just two years after quitting basketball.

Today, David leaves for a three-month trial with Netball South Australia Premier League, Wood Panthers in a bid to secure a professional contract, a first for Botswana.

The Sebina-born netball star has been tipped for success by Dinaletsana assistant coach, Kagisano Mawelana. The trainer, who oversaw David’s first steps in to international netball, said the goal shooter could be a world-beater as her body structure would work in her favour.

 “She has a good body structure and normally players like her are hard to mark. We first taught her the release, footwork and positioning, but it was not a lot of work due to her basketball history, we just had to refine those skills,” she said.

However, Mawelana is worried about the youngster’s fitness, as the local netball league has been inactive for the past seasons. She, however, said the length of the trial period would be enough for the youngster to impress.  “A three-month period is a lot of time. She will have enough time to adjust.

Look she comes from an environment where our netball league has been inactive, so she has been without game time,” she said.

“But she will be working with one of the best coaches in the world and I believe that within a short period she would have adapted to the play in that league.”

After an impressive display by the Dinaletsana at the World Cup, Mawelana hopes a lot of international scouts from professional teams will be attracted to poach talent from local shores. But she bemoaned lack of proper development structures.

“We do have the talent but the issue with us locally is the development structures. I think we can send many more like her to the professional leagues, but the issue has been lack of proper development,” she said.

“As national team coaches, we meet with players at a stage where they are expected to be refined but we have a lot of work to do in trying to mould the players. But we have no doubt about the talent we have here.”  David is a silver medallist from the 2015 Botswana Games and the 2016 AUSC Region V Games. She also won silver with TASC netball team in the My Spar national league.

David will join two local netball players in Sarona Hans and Winnie Hill who are playing college netball. 

Woods Panthers joined the elite league in 2010 and have been praised for having a squad with experienced players who are complemented by young talent. 

The Blackwood-based side have won just once and lost twice in the three games in the new season as they sit seventh in the eight-team league.

Editor's Comment
Botswana needs proper rehabilitation centres

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