Debmarine injects N$1.8 million into netball

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Otniel Hembapu

Windhoek-After bringing hope to hundreds of local footballers through the Debmarine Namibia Cup, the diamond prospecting and mining giant has done it again, this time rescuing Netball Namibia (NN) from the jaws of demise with N$1.8 million in sponsorship.
Netball Namibia, which has for the past few years been without any headline sponsor for all their activities, including regional leagues, yesterday officially became the chief beneficiaries of massive sponsorship from Debmarine Namibia.

The N$1.8 million sponsorship is for a period of three years, meaning Debmarine Namibia will pump N$600,000 into Netball Namibia annually for over three years. Additionally, Debmarine Namibia has offered to financially assist with the training of about 20 local umpires and to also assist in developing a fully-fledged website for the netball association.

With the new sponsorship, Netball Namibia plans to host their annual senior national netball championships and a five nations netball series, which will involve Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland. They will also revive the ailing fortunes of regional leagues in all 14 regions by availing a N$10,000 annual grant to reach region for development purposes.

Unveiling the sponsorship yesterday, Debmarine Namibia chief executive officer Otto Shikongo said the government has many needs to attend to, hence the necessity for corporate companies to step in and assist the Namibian youth, especially the girl-child.
Last year, according to Shikongo, the company took a decision to plough back into the country’s youth through both football and netball.

“These partnerships show our commitment to supporting government through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service. We at Debmarine Namibia believe that social investment should be a means of bringing dreams to reality,” he said.

Debmarine senior financial manager Willy Mertens added that netball empowers the girl-child by encouraging a holistic approach to the development of the intellect and spirit, as well as the physical and emotional wellbeing of the girl-child in particular and women in general.

Deputy Minister of Sport Agnes Tjongarero applauded Debmarine Namibia on taking a wise decision to empower the Namibian girl-child through sport, particularly netball, saying the sponsorship will go a long way in providing women with positive opportunities.

She, however, cautioned Netball Namibia, as the custodians of netball in the country, to practice good governance in whatever they do and to account for every cent spent during their various activities.

Netball Namibia secretary-general Imelda Nerongo said they had learned a lot from their male counterparts at the Namibia Football Association (NFA), who played a mentoring role over the past year on how to secure sponsors.

“After experiencing so much rejection from the corporate world, we reached out to our football colleagues, who always manage to get sponsorship after sponsorship, so they could also teach us to talk and mingle with potential sponsors. And that brought us here today, finally securing the Debmarine Namibia sponsorship,” she said.

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