Funds hamper netball's Singapore plans

Stumbling block: Netball is facing lack of funds that has affected the national team’s activities PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Stumbling block: Netball is facing lack of funds that has affected the national team’s activities PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The Botswana Netball Association (BONA) faces financial challenges that have forced the association to cancel plans for the senior team's trip to the annual Singapore Six Nations Cup scheduled for September.

Botswana has always been part of the tournament since its infancy stage when it was still a tri-nations competition. The BONA president, Onkemetse Mpudi, is a concerned person as the association is struggling with funding. She told MmegiSport that they needed P500, 000 for the trip, yet for 2024-2025 they received only a P300, 000 grant from the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC). “Normally the tournament is held in December but this year it will be held in the first week of September. The plan was that Netball Singapore would pay for our stay that side and we (BONA) had to take care of flight tickets and players' allowances. Our budget stood at around P500, 000," she said. "Pulling out of this tournament is a drawback because the less international games we play, we are unable to improve our world rankings because the Singapore Six Nations Cup is a World Netball-sanctioned event.

Teams are going to use it to improve their world rankings and we are missing out,” Mpudi added. She said moving forward, the intention is to initiate a Tri-Nations Cup with countries like Namibia and Zimbabwe, to try and score some points that might improve rankings. Botswana is currently ranked number 22 in the world out of 24 events. Zambia is ranked number 16 out of 31 events, Namibia is in position 20 from 36 events, Malawi is in position seven from 47 matches, and SPAR Proteas are in position five after playing 57 matches. “We are in a tough situation, especially for someone like me who got into office at a time when the association has a zero balance in the account. That is even more frustrating. When we got into office, we found that there were some financial deals that were already in place; we could not tamper with them. Right now non-institutional teams are complaining of lack of funds ahead of the upcoming LUCARA Netball League finals,” she said.

Editor's Comment
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