In a draw held in Gaborone, Botswana for the Netball World Youth Cup 2017, the inaugural edition of the tournament which will be held at Gaborone in July next year featuring 20 teams from all over the world, the pool-wise allocation of teams was announced today.
The 20 teams are divided into four pools with New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Samoa in Pool A; Australia, South Africa, Barbados, Zimbabwe, and Singapore in Pool B; Jamaica, Botswana, Cook Islands, Malaysia and Uganda in Pool C; England, Fiji, Trinidad & Tobago, Wales and Grenada in Pool D (image below):
Speaking post the announcement of draws, Mr. Thapelo Olopeng, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport & Culture Development welcomed guests, and said, “Participation of young women in this World Cup is an encouraging sign for us to steadfastly continue our efforts of providing sport programmes that nurture, empower and develop our youth. We cannot underestimate sport as a vital activity for the holistic development of our young people because it fosters their physical, social and emotional health.”
The INF President, Ms. Molly Rhone, OJ, CD, stated, “One of the key strategies for the International Netball Federation over the next four years is to ensure our audiences, fans, teams and broadcasters enjoy thrilling world class events. I have no doubt that Botswana will make this a truly spectacular event.”
Speaking about the legacy they are trying to create with this event, she further added, “I am also certain that this event will enthuse and inspire more young people to play our great sport and leave a lasting legacy, which will grow and develop netball and create an even further positive impact on many young people and their communities.”
Introducing the draw, Tebogo Lebotse Sebego, President of the Botswana Netball Association (BONA), said, “For BONA, the inspiration to host the Netball World Youth Cup came from the Cook Islands Games in 2009 when they hosted the World Championships. When we put in the bid, we knew that we were punching above our weight but as a small nation with great ambitions, punching above our weight is our inspiration.”
Speaking further about the emotions related to the event, she added, “It is really pleasing to be at the point of conducting a Draw and it’s amazing that Botswana is drawn into the same pool as Cook Islands.”
Speaking about the event and the opportunity that it brings, Prisca Mokgadi, Chair Person for the Local Organising Committee, said, “It is a real honour for me to be Chairing the Local Organising Committee for this prestigious event. This is a great opportunity for Botswana and we look forward to delivering a world class event.”
The event concluded with the unveiling of the Netball World Youth Cup trophy by the INF President.