Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Singapore Indoor Stadium

The national netball team on Sunday (June, 26th) jetted off to Singapore ahead of the 2011 World Netball Championships to be held between July 3rd-10th, 2011 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Speaking at the team’s send off ceremony on Friday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, Ruth Maphorisa said it is most important that the team qualified for the world championships for the second time in row, having first qualified in 2007.
The PS observed that the sportsmanship showed by netball players and administrators has contributed to the development of the sport. She also appreciated the Botswana Netball Association for having managed to secure and maintain league sponsorship over the years.
Team Botswana, led by Seipei Gaelesiwe will be one of the teams representing sixteen nations from across the world at this key event. Botswana, ranked World No.18, has been drawn in Pool C with Jamaica (No.4), South Africa (No.6) and 19th ranked Singapore.
After a series of preparations at home and regionally, Gaelesiwe’s team is scheduled to play two strength testing matches against Trinidad & Tobago and North Ireland before meeting the hosts in the opening match on July 3rd.
The team has been in camp in the last couple of months in an attempt to intensify their warm-up for netball’s biggest stage. They had a good challenge against South Africa and Singapore during the tri-nations tournament played at Thebephatshwa Airbase at the end of April this year.
Gaelesiwe’s charges also measured their strength in two matches against Malawi in the weekend of June 18-19, though they lost both matches. Team captain, Portia Rasekhumba promised that they will fight hard to fly high the national flag.
There is no doubt that their group opponents have put together good preparations and the local girls will surely not have it easy overseas. Neighbours South Africa has had good results in the past few months.
The Spar Proteas, as the SA team is known, prevailed during the tri-nations tournament; beating Botswana and Singapore in all the three matches, two of which were against Botswana. They went on to make a hat-trick over Trinidad & Tobago in a Test Series last month; and head-coach Elize Kotze said in the last game her team showcased the best of South African netball.
Singapore, who are aiming for a top 12 finish, will obviously have a home ground advantage psychological boost. The Straits Times, a Singapore online edition, reported recently that “Carpenter (Kate Carpenter, Singapore head-coach) will be relying on an experienced defence to survive a tough Pool C”.
Oberon Pitterson, head-coach of Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls was quoted in the Jamaican Gleaner as saying despite the absence of a number of senior players from their squad she is very confident that the team can represent Jamaica well.
The publication reported that former captain and goal attack, Simone Forbes and defender Kasey Evering, two of Jamaica’s most outstanding senior players, will not make the trip to Singapore for the Championships due to suspension and injury respectively.
“We have the right 12 that will represent Jamaica and I think they will do very well,” Pitterson was quoted, adding that they have a lot of depth in their team as evidenced by the rotation of the entire bench in the last couple of Test Series.
Jamaica finished third at the last Championships which took place in 2007 in New Zealand. Australia finished first followed by New Zealand.
Botswana team list: Portia Rasekhumba, Ntebogang Motlakaloso, Kagisano Mawela, Tshegofatso Tlhaboswe, Ogone Gabaratane, Gagotheko Tshelametsi, Tebogo Radipotsane, Kelebogile Mangole, Violet Moabi, Botlhale Moeng, Segopolo Thulaganyo and Florah Keeditse.