BONA engages Malawian coach

14th February 2018

Botswana Netball Association (BONA) has roped in seasoned Malawian coach Griffin Saenda in a bid to turn the national team into world-beaters. Saenda comes with an illustrious resume after he previously led the Malawian netball team to world championships on more than one occasion. The Southern African nation continues to maintain a top twenty-world ranking. Saenda has already hit the ground running having held senior national team selections this past weekend in Gaborone. BONA netball courts were turned into a stomping ground as national team aspirants competed for positions in anticipation of World championships scheduled for August later this year in the United Kingdom.

In an interview this week, BONA president Malebo Raditladi said have engaged someone with valuable experience in the sport as the netball level of play in the country continues to grow over the years. “The management agreed on sourcing someone who has worked with high level athletes because choosing athletes for national team engagements requires skill and experience hence only the highly knowledgeable coach was required for the job,” Raditladi said.

Moreover, Raditladi said the turn out for the two-day trails was satisfactory adding that most parts of the country were represented. “We have not been able to host our league in the past year. The league assisted in assessing potential national team players, so we had to come up with an alternative, which was to bring a pool of players under one setting and select a team from them.” In an interview with Sun Sports, Saenda said local ladies have the talent to compete with other high level netballers from across Africa.

“The opportunity to work with Botswana players was wonderful. The players are open to advice and that made everything easy for us,” Saenda said. Nevertheless, Saenda said there were a number of concerns regarding the players such as low levels of fitness. The coach said local player lack in agility, which is one major requirement in netball. “Botswana players need further training before August because other Associations are certainly working harder day in and day out to attain results for the games,” he warned.

For her part, BONA Vice technical advisor Lorato Thebekgosi said the exercise was transparent and fair. All the candidates were awarded the same opportunity to showcase their skills. “We are faced with a daunting task of producing results and maintaining good reputation for the association after hosting a successful Netball Youth World Cup. According to Thebekgosi successful candidates will be notified as early as possible and training calendar will be communicated to them in time.

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