Don’t kill the goose the lays the golden eggs … Athletes set bad precedent by conveniently choosing games
Let me doff my korrie for the organizers of the just-ended Debmarine Pent series semi-regional netball tournament, head coach Manny and his support staff as well as the vociferous supporters who en masse shouted their lungs out - lifting the spirits of our girls for a job well done – the sky is the limit. Going into the tourney as the lowest ranked team in the five-nation competition – hosts Namibia surely came to the show, opening her assault with a flawless morale-boosting comprehensive victory over Swaziland. This was followed by commendable performances against eventual tournament winners Zimbabwe, and Zambia – only to stumble and melt against eternal rivals Botswana at the last hurdle in a match that was certainly there for the taking, had it not been for erratic shooting with the hoop begging, aided by serially poor decision-making in the final quarter. Nonetheless, we should commend the girls for their gutsy performance throughout the tournament, considering the continuing lack of competitive leagues at the domestic front, gravely worsened by the absence of regular competition at international level. Sadly, the overall composition of the playing personnel did not reflect the genuine strength of our ladies game. Firstly, the game of netball is extremely popular amongst young women notably at senior secondary schools across all regions. If my recollection serves me right, white schools remain quite dominant in the highly competitive popular FNB Namibia Classic Clashes and the Bank Windhoek Netball Super League for secondary schools. So, it was shocking and a bit weird, so to speak, to notice the conspicuous absence of a single netballer from those particular schools, their not making the cut. I’m just wondering. Well, upon closer inspection, yours truly was led to believe that white netballers declined invitation on the grounds of an assortment of excuses – obviously some of them sound and genuine while others are just lame excuses for even a fool to digest. Having been around the block for a considerable period, would yours truly stand accused of being too critical if he dares conclude or rather carefully observes that these issues and habitual, worn-out excuses never crop up whenever it comes to tours beyond Namibian borders, notably across the Orange River and of course when Europe and the Americas beckon. Let me also play the devil’s advocate and give the benefit of the doubt to the absentees. For starters, we are holed up in a society made up of people from different cultures, way of thinking, approaches and all that kind of jazz. Secondly, larneys have different ways of thinking in the manner in which they conduct their business and how they tailor their movements. Trials and subsequent games were held during the school holidays. This is an extremely dangerous exercise that would in all likelihood not perfectly tie in harmoniously with potential candidates as they mostly planned to go away on holiday with their parents – hence their unavailability or decline of an invitation to attend trials. Thirdly, logic would suggest that the staging of such august tournaments should be communicated well in advance to all stakeholders if we are to avoid setting out sub-standard representative teams to hoist our national flag at international tournaments. Little wonder this sums up why continental powerhouse South Africa were notable absentees from the regional netball tourney. On a rather not exactly complimentary parting shot just remember that careful planning, together with with damn good timing, in any kind of business or organization, is the ultimate key to success. I rest my case.
2017-09-15 12:35:25 1 years ago