Support netball dreams

25 October 2021 | Sport
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

The netball fraternity, which has often been a stepchild and sport code that receives less attention, has proven that it is evolving and turning into a sport code of glory and progress.

Today we sit with an active Netball Premier League sponsored by MTC and regional leagues that are still gasping for survival.

MTC’s N$4.5 million sponsorship for a period of three years was really something special for the code after it went years without a fixed sponsorship.

This was a fraternity on its knees and a sport code that had so many dreams deferred due to the lack of funding.

One thing that has, however, impressed me the most in this fraternity is the never-say-die attitude of many administrators who have been part of this sport.

In the past decades, most sponsorships and attention has gone to football, rugby, hockey and cricket and others.

This, however, didn’t deter those with the passion to keep the torch of netball dreams burning.

Today, Namibian netball sits with a league that is administered in a way that is closer to professional than football ever has been.

Today, netball Namibia has seen so many young people getting involved in the sport and making a living from it.

It is for these reasons I am urging corporate Namibia to come on board and join those who have already started investing in the sport.

Yes, the MTC Namibia Netball Premier League appears to be sorted, given the sponsorship they get, but they will definitely need more to turn the sport professional.

Things in pictures and newspapers might also look fine for the lower divisions, but I tell you, these organisers are not having it easy.

The lower divisions are still trying their best to survive because they do not have the financial muscle to pull and support the upper leagues as far as the journey towards professional netball is concerned.

The lower divisions often struggle with sufficient courts and equipment due to the lack of funding.

Teams playing in these leagues also face the difficulty of not being able to pay officials due to the unavailability of resources.

I have also observed that netball players and their coaching staff are sometimes forced to dig money out of their own pockets to pay for transportation when teams are travelling.

Many of these teams have unemployed players who have to make their way to training grounds.

It is for these reasons I appeal to the corporate world to rescue a sport that has been struggling to get adequate funding for many years.

It will not make sense if we professionalise the top league and fund it but the lower leagues which pave way to the top league are not funded.

This will definitely broaden the gap between those who are at highest level and those trying to get there.

That is why I find it important that administrators strike a balance between the different leagues in order to pull in one direction.

The most important thing here is to have more players go through the ranks to give the national team coaches more options.

Netball in other countries is a sport which many athletes make a living from and we have had our own local players exported to big foreign leagues as well.

It is why I am sure that the sport code can serve as a gateway out of poverty for many Namibians who are talented enough to catch the international eye when given the chance to perform.

Let us do whatever it takes together as Namibian corporates to make sure that the dreams of young girls who aspire to become top professional are supported from the start.

- [email protected]



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