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Netball’s chance to shine at NWYC 2017

The 2016 Summer Olympics are over, but Netball was not represented and was left out of the Games in London and Rio. However, it is now set to be seen in a different platform in Gaborone, when Botswana hosts the Netball World Youth Cup (NWYC) in 2017.

This means the sport cannot afford to blow any opportunities as the world’s eyes will be on them. As big as the “World” Series claims to be, local Netball’s only truly global showcase comes when it is allowed to be seen  internationally like it is the case with the rest of the big-time Olympic sports: track and field, swimming, football and the like.

The local netballers should therefore put on a show in next year’s edition or they may never get another chance to prove their mettle. And doing so will require participation from the best players in the game.

Young players will all be clad in blue, black and white taking on the best of the best from the other top netball nations. Host nation Botswana is expected to go the finals featuring the young unbelievable talent churned over the years.

The hosts have been drawn in pool C alongside Uganda, Malaysia Cook Islands and Jamaica.

A star-studded tournament would get attention both in the continent and around the world and the huge, enthusiastic crowds that would undoubtedly show up to the games in Gaborone would make the sport one of the games’ big stories.

This would be far from the contrived World netball Classic, an event with no history. This new form of Netball as an Olympic sport would feature the best netball young players in the world playing in the ultimate global sports tournament, with hundreds of thousands watching around the world.

This notwithstanding, Netball’s biggest headache is that they do not always attract lucrative sponsors; the 2017 games will run from 8th July to the 16th of the same month.

The very first edition of NWYC was held in Canberra Australia in 1988. Since then, Fiji, Canada, USA Cook Islands and Scotland have hosted the NWYC.

Botswana first participated at the 2005 NWYC helf in Florida, USA and finished at an impressive position 9th out of 16 countries under the leadership of Coaches Setshedi Botlhole-Mmopi and Lorato Thebekgosi and Manager Kelebonye Mabeo.

Interestingly, Botlhole-Mmopi is the current Head Coach for the Under 21 Team for NWYC 2017 whilst Lorato Thebekgosi on the other hand is the current Vice President Technical for Botswana Netball Association (BONA).


New Zealand

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Trinidad and Tobago



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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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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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