Namibia’s senior netball side, the Debmarine Desert Jewels, will today leave for Cape Town, South Africa, where they will be competing at the upcoming Spar Challenge from next week Thursday until 31 March.
This year’s Spar Challenge, which will be played in a bio-bubble, will see the country’s Desert Jewels going toe-to-toe with the likes of Uganda, South Africa senior sides and two other local sides - Proteas U/21 and the SA President Invitational squad. Namibia earlier this year received an invitation from Netball South Africa (NSA) to compete in the tournament.
Speaking to New Era Sport ahead of the team’s departure for neighbouring South Africa, Desert Jewels skipper Jatjinda ‘Toetsie’ Kambatuku said the squad is a good mixture of young and experienced players and that they have prepared well to compete against some of the continent’s best.
“The team is ready and well prepared. I think we have done enough preparations ahead of this competition. Every player is eager to go out and compete. Having some new faces in the team also makes it more interesting because this will give them a chance to get much-needed exposure and showcase their talents at the highest level,” she said.
Come Thursday next week, the Desert Jewels will get their campaign underway with a match against South Africa, before facing the unpredictable She Cranes of Uganda on 26 March. They will then again square off against South Africa the following day.
The Desert Jewels will continue with their campaign with a tie against the She Cranes of Uganda on 28 March, before facing Uganda again on 29 March. On the 30th of March, the Namibian ladies will face South Africa, before moving on to confront the SA President Invitational squad on 31 March.
Namibian netball has been on an upward trajectory following their historic win of the 13th edition of M1 Nations Cup in Singapore in 2019. The Desert Jewels defeated hosts Singapore on home turf in that final (49-42) to bring home their first ever M1 Nations Cup trophy.
The Debmarine Desert Jewels squad: Bittley Selma, Roetz Rachalle, Gomases Monica Shahin, Kutako Emmy, Kaspar Anna Kulaumone Ndeshitila, Garbers Juzelri, Shipanga Anna Etuhole, Kambatuku Jatjinda, Hanyanya Loide Tangeni, Mulenamaswe Mwale Kathy, Kamutushi Nanguloshi Eva Nyamningwa and Maharero Venyekerera.