By Lynette Kozosi
Namibian netball has not participated in any international games for the past 13 years and there is no sign of that happening any time soon.
The last time the national team participated abroad was at the 9th World Netball Championships in England.
Netball has gone through tremendous change from the apartheid times when black and white players participated in separate leagues.
The first time black players were allowed to represent the country at national level after independence was at the 8th World National Championships that took place in Sydney, Australia, when eight players out of 12 were black. That was under the leadership of Agnes Tjongarero, who was the first president of the All Namibia Netball Association (ANNA) to be elected after independence.
Netball as a sports code has been struggling to receive sponsorship from the corporate world and some people in the netball league are complaining that there is no development taking place in this sports code at all.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source told New Era that the way things look now there is no future for netball at all.
“Teams don’t develop, they remain at the same position and this is the fault of management, because they refuse to see things for what they are,” the source added.
When contacted for comment, Carol Garoes, the current president of ANNA told New Era that netball does not have enough funds due to lack of sponsorship and this stifles its development.
“Because netball is a female game, it has always taken back stage in sponsorship. The scales are tilted and it’s a struggle for netball to remain competent,” she said.
A former Namibian national team netball player, Joan Smith, said that Namibia does have the right talent but it lacks the right people to develop these talented players.
“Put netball in the right hands tomorrow and you will have a team fit for national level,” she said.
“People want to sponsor sport that delivers and is exposed to international participation,” she said when asked about sponsorship.
The Netball Africa Cup of Nations is to be hosted in Namibia soon, but the final date is yet to be confirmed.