- The diamond miner ends a 3-year dry spell for netball players and fans alike
This has brought a sigh of relief to netball players and fans alike because the last time BONA had a league was a Spar-sponsored affair that ran for six weeks in 2018.
Speaking in a telephone interview with this publication, BONA spokesperson Mokeresete Mokeresete said the Lucara backing is bringing an end to a three-year virtual dearth of netball. “We are finally returning to the field of play and are doing so in full force,” Mokeresete said. “Our players will finally be active throughout the year and have their much-needed game time and fitness. The return of the national league will contribute handsomely to performance of national netball teams this year.”
The aim for the Lucara-powered national league is to start sometime in May. “We did not have sponsors for about three years after the Spar mini league in 2018,” Mokeresete noted. “It’s such a great achievement to finally find a sponsor after the long wait are and very grateful to Lucara for coming on board.” Lucara is a multi-listed mining company known for producing massive stones that contain top quality gems from its Botswana operation, Karowe Diamond Mine.
Meanwhile, although details of the league had not been established at the time of going to press, Mokeresete told The Business Weekly Sports in a previous interview that BONA has many activities lined up for 2022, among them the National Association Cup. “Our aim is to revive local netball and for it to be regarded as the powerhouse on the African continent again,” he said.
Some of the events are for the men’s and women’s national netball teams. Selections for the men’s national netball team for the Africa Men’s Netball Cup that is scheduled for Morocco from 26 March to 6 April 2022 will take place on 16 January 2022 at BONA Courts in Gaborone. Other competitions are the Africa World Netball Cup Qualifiers to be held in August (dates and venue to be confirmed) and the AUSC Games (junior team) which are scheduled for December in Malawi.