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Netball ranked in top 20, but

The country’s netball rankings have deteriorated despite a promising start in the formative years, in recent years, Botswana netball has been on a freefall, this is in part due to fragile national team and domestic league structures.  

Local netball has been one of the dominant faces of the sport in Africa, following after the powerhouses of Malawi and South Africa. Though Botswana Netball Association (BONA) was founded in 1970, it was only in 2007 that this country had their maiden appearance at the 2007 World netball Championships hosted by New Zealand; the local lasses finished on tenth spot.

Four years later, they qualified for the same tournament but could not outdo their initial ranking as they finished at position 13 out of 16 nations. Botswana, together with South Africa and Malawi were African hopefuls in the 2011 championships. That was the last time Botswana competed in the world showdown as other countries surged ahead of her having proved they were the better teams.

To date the local sport has been over taken by novice countries like Uganda (13), Zambia (15) and Zimbabwe (17) as it is currently occupying the 18th spot. Many have expressed concern with the trend, and the team had also failed to qualify for the quadrennial tournament in 2015. Some on the other hand who are against Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego’s leadership are having a field day.

The plan to make the national team structures rigid are also in place at Botswana Netball Association (BONA) as the association wants the team to further improve on the standings, “I only wish the girls could win few games against more highly ranked teams as that would definitely take us to top 11 and that would automatically get us into the Commonwealth Games,” said Lebotse-Sebego.

The country remains in the Top 20 of the netball rankings worldwide, which according to the President should be credited to consistent international activity. “We always make sure that the team plays ranking game each year to ensure that we retain decent ranking,” she said.
Netball diehards have also called on for a stronger domestic league and development structures as the recipe to take Botswana up the ladder.


“If you have a functioning league you are sure of active players and a pool to select from which to give the national team a competitive advantage, but if our league is defunct then we are doomed,” an avid follower of the game opined. Further adding that, “again development is very powerful tool which would take us places; countries like Uganda have invested on it hence they are enjoying fruits of their toil.”

As for the league which was put on ice pending sponsorship, it has been resuscitated and expectations are that it will be facilitated in a manner that will help in the national team reaching the destination of choice. With Botswana hosting youth world cup next year, BONA will have to triple their efforts to if they are to make netball a sporting power. Again more players are expected to be sent to the Asian country of Malaysia for attachments which could in turn improve the country’s ranking.

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Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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BFA to pay Taylor P330 000

7th March 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has been ordered to pay its former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone Taylor over P330 000 as a compensation for her unfair dismissal last year February.

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