Although marked by a very low turn-up at the Khomas Netball Regional Pre-season Tournament held last Saturday at the Khomasdal stadium, activities of the day saw the ever popular league promising to produce better talent for this year.
Only five clubs showed up to participate in the annual tournament usually held before the league resumes to encourage new and old clubs to join and for them to boast of their new players’ talent and test which division of the league they want to register for in the new season.
The region has about 13 clubs affiliated to the body and the club’s president expressed her disappointment for the absence of some of the oldest clubs such as Wanderers United and Bethlehem United but remained hopeful that netball will continue existing with the few teams that continue showing their commitment.
“This is definitely not a reflection of how we want netball to progress in the country, given that clubs stay away from league events. It’s a poor start for the year but this should not discourage clubs that want to play,” said president of Khomas netball region, Maureen Applegreyn.
Also speaking at the event was Jo-Ann Manuel representing the Directorate of Sport from the Ministry of Sport and Culture, who delivered a motivational speech to the ladies. She reprimanded the ladies on the abuse of substance and alcohol, saying that no athlete can become a top sport player while indulging in ruthless behaviour. “For you to be a top athlete, you need to be a teetotaller. In fact, most and well known top athletes are teetotallers,” she said. Jo-Ann further asserted that she is looking forward to the days that Namibian netball will have competitive matches at all international levels. She further called on sport administrators to work together towards sending a team to participate in the 2014 Scotland Commonwealth games.
“It was because of sport administrators that we failed to send a team to the 2011 All African games and this should stop, administrators should get matured or we will forever miss out on important international games,” she concluded.
The teams that participated in the pre-season tournament were last year’s league winners; Civics, Black Africa, United Netball club, Rehoboth-based Reho-United, African Stars’ first and second division teams. Coming in fourth place, the Civics team showed rather poor performances as many of its strong players were engaged in the Tertiary Institutional games, which also took place this past weekend.
Reho-united joined the Khomas regional league last year and improved a great deal at their play but the presence of teams from the senior divisions left them no chance for a win, which saw them taking the last seat at the tournament. The mighty United club from Olympia is flocked with a few new faces. The team surprised the rest of the teams that thought they knew what they were up against.
Although the club took third place, their commitment and endurance levels through every game proved that the suburban girls will give any netball supporter a run for their money this season.
Finally, the Black Africa stars gave nothing less than what was expected of them. Although the usual court runners were also absent from the team, the youngsters present showed what the Tura team is made up of - top class players as they walked away with a floating trophy, cash prize and medals.