Gaborone — Zimbabwe, South Africa and Uganda have secured a spot in next year’s Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC) billed for Gaborone. By Bulukani Hubona
During the recent Africa qualifiers in Gaborone, South Africa came tops with 14 points, Zimbabwe came second with 12 points and Uganda followed in the third spot with 10 points.
Botswana qualified for NWYC by virtue of being hosts.
However, Botswana did not do well in the qualifiers.
The country finished sixth out of the eight countries that participated.
Botswana only managed to beat Lesotho and Namibia thus collecting four points.
Under the tutelage of two coaches; Kagisano Mawela and Setshedi Botlhole-Mmopi, Botswana lost against South Africa with 66-33 goals and Uganda with 49-36.
They also lost to Zambia and Zimbabwe with a heavy margin.
Mawela attributed their poor performance to lack of mental strength and a poor attacking play.
She said even though they have skill, her team failed to adjust to a game that needed them to be physical.
Mawela also admitted that they had little time to prepare for the qualifiers,.
She said they did not even have time to arrange match practices with other countries, but only managed to play match practices with men teams.
Even though they had a terrible campaign, Mawela said “for us losing was not an issue, our concentration was to build for 2017 World Cup hence you realised we did not keep one team playing for long in a game because we are trying to figure out combinations to see which players suit best playing together,” she explained.
She further said they had noted their weakness and intended going back to the drawing board to make sure all the girls were prepared for the world cup next year.
For her part, head coach Botlhole-Mmopi acknowledged that they still had a lot of work to be done.
She said to avoid to be an embarrassment to the country next year, they had a plan that they intended to put in place to elevate their players to where they should be.
Botlhole-Mmopi said the Botswana Netball Association executive committee had approved the plan.
It incorporated travelling around the world exposing players to different trainings.
However, she appealed to all stakeholders to come on board to help them since the plan needed funding in order to be rightly executed.
Source : BOPA