Namibia’s netball senior team captain Jatjinda ‘Toetsi’ Tjihero says winning the M1 Nations Cup held in Singapore last year marked a crucial turning point for the country’s netball fraternity and brought a fresh ray of hope.
The Desert Jewels, as the national senior netball side is known, in October last year took Singapore’s OCBC Arena by storm when they defeated host nation 49-42 to make history by lifting the M1 Nations Cup for the first time and Tjihero strongly believes that success should continue serving as a major stepping stone to greater things for the national netball team going forward.
Speaking to New Era Sport recently, Tjihero said the M1 Nations Cup triumph made a huge impact locally and internationally, as more people are getting involved in the development of Namibian netball as a whole.
“The M1 Nations Cup win made a tremendous difference in local netball. People are more active than before and, unfortunately, netball is on hold at the moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Not only was it a proud moment for Namibia as a country, but it was a sign of greater things to come for the country’s netball. “Winning the M1 Nations Cup was a memorable highlight to me personally and for my teammates. We were the underdogs and came out as winners, which showed how focused and determined we were as a team. It’s a souvenir of national pride and for me personally being the captain of such a wonder squad is a true honour. I felt a sense of accomplishment when we won. I knew it was the beginning of greater things for netball in Namibia,” says an optimistic Tjihero.
On what needs to be done to ensure local netball continues to move on an upward trajectory, she said talent identification and development is very key for continuity.
“Sports development has many dimensions and it all comes down to how it is seen and valued in a country. Keywords like talent identification, performance pathways and participation always pop up to me when this kind of question is asked. It is a broad subject and I only hope the best for sports in Namibia.”