WINDHOEK, 02 SEP – Netball Namibia president Lydia Mutenda said the sport is improving at a steady rate.
She was speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the 2018 Debmarine Senior Regional Netball Championship at the Tamariskia Sports Field in Swakopmund on Saturday.
“Look at how this tournament has improved from last year for example. The umpires have improved their officiating, the logistical arrangements also improved and definitely the standard of play has improved,” she said.
She added that the umpires and coaches were trained during The Namibian Newspaper Cup tournament which took place in the Zambezi Region earlier this year.
Mutenda also lauded government for availing transport to all the regions who are taking part in the tournament, saying everyone had travelled safely.
“If you have trained coaches, they will definitely produce a quality team, which will in turn display quality netball. The umpires are just complementing the growth of the sport.”
The NN president said she was happy with the netball courts being used for the tournament.
She was however quick to lament the absence of the //Kharas Region, who failed to make it for the tournament for unknown reasons after having confirmed their participation.
She added that NN had set themselves targets to improve the sport code, and so far, everything was pointing in the right direction.
“When we took over, we set ourselves goals to revive and strengthen regional structures. That we have achieved. We also wanted to hold regular competitions, we are also getting there. We wanted to get better ratings in Africa, that is also looking good,” explained Mutenda.
She said these are some of the targets which prove that the sport is heading in the right direction in claiming its position as an elite code in the country.
Her views were echoed by Connie Samaria, the Public Relations Officer of NN, who said the tournament will be used to select a national shadow team, whose aim will be to give competition to the current squad.
Samaria further applauded this year’s competition for featuring male teams, noting that netball is a sport for everybody.
“It’s a stereotype that requires a lot of work. As a country we need to grow. Every time when males penetrate a field that is dominated by females, there is that perception or notion that they are gay. That’s not the case,” explained Samaria.
He added that in neighbouring South Africa, there is a fully-fledged professional men’s netball league, and called on Namibia to follow suit.
Samaria said Kenya has the best male netball team in Africa and wished for Namibia to emulate them.
Four regions – Zambezi, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Khomas – had male netball teams participating at this year’s Debmarine Namibia Senior Regional Netball Championships.