The national women’s netball championship ended recently, with the Filbert Bayi Secondary School emerging as the undisputed champions.
Indeed, during the competition, the Filbert Bayi School rode roughshod over the opposition, and remarkably, did not lose a single game en route to winning the coveted title.
In the wider context, the national women’s netball team, Taifa Queens, have produced some really encouraging displays on the international scene, since their return to the fold of global netball a few years ago.
Recently, for instance, the Taifa Queens admirably finished second only to the continental heavyweights, Malawi, at the African netball championship.
Indeed, this was an outstanding achievement, not just for local netball but local sports in general.
Having said this though, one feels that inadequate efforts have been made to capitalize on the Queens’ stellar feat for the good of local netball.
Towards that end perhaps, the head coach of the Filbert Bayi Secondary School, Mary Waya, has called on sports authorities in the country to introduce netball at the grassroots level so as to lay a sturdy cornerstone for the sport’s development.
Expanding further on the issue, Waya stressed the importance of teaching youngsters the basics of the game and ensuring that would-be coaches and umpires are trained from an early age.
The coach also highlighted the fact that the recent national tournament featured many young and gifted players but who crucially, lacked the fundamentals of the sport.
In light of all this, one would like to urge the National Sports Council (NSC) and other authorities to set up a national program for the development of netball at the grassroots level.
As for the governing body for local netball, CHANETA, it would also be helpful if they strove to organize friendly matches against rarefied opposition in a bid to expose our girls to the ultra-competitive world of global netball, where no quarters are asked for and none given.
All in all then, it is fair to say that local netball is charting a promising path as far as success in the sport is concerned.
Nevertheless, for the sport to realize its full potential, it seems that greater emphasis and focus have to be placed on its development.