Desert Jewelz to take part in Spar Challenge

By Michael Uugwanga

NAMIBIA’S senior women netball team, the Desert Jewelz are  set to take part in the Spar International Netball Challenge to be hosted by Netball South Africa  this month from February 24 to February 28.

This was confirmed by Netball Namibia technical director,Vehonga ‘Wency’ Ndjitaviua to Confidente Sport this week, after Netball Namibia held its first training camp for the senior players over the weekend in Windhoek.

The netball tournament has been hosted by Netball South Africa since 2016 of which Namibia will be making its first appearance at the tournament that has been contested by the likes of South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and two other South African sides Proteas U/20 and the South Africa Presidential Invitational squad.

The final 15-woman squad will only be announced after the next training camp to be hosted from 19 to 21 February.

Namibia will be making its return to the international netball stage after a year’s absence due to Covid-19, with the country’s last international participation going back to October 2019 in the M1 Nations Cup in Singapore, which Namibia won.

“The aim is really to improve ranking and ensure players are kept active during that season. This will be our first time in the tournament but in the past we did participate in the Diamond Netball Challenge there. With the Covid-19 pandemic, Namibia was unable to secure any ranking points as all international games were cancelled. If this stays the same, Namibia will lose their current ranking of 23rd place in the world,” said Ndjitaviua.

Netball Namibia will be hoping to get cash injection from their regular sponsor Debmarine Namibia that has been the official sponsor for three years, while more financial support is expected to come from the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC).

The current national team is comprised of:

Jatjinda ‘Toetsie’ Tjihero, Kambirongo Tjeripo, Rachelle Roets, Anna Kasper, Eve Kamutushi, Selma Bittler, Zante Farmer, Anna Shipanga, Rachel Hanyanya, Imbeleni Frans, Venjee Maharero, Emmy Katuko, Monica Gomases, Corey Mupenda, Mwale Mulenamaswe

Players waiting to be assessed are: Juzelri Garbers, Uahengisa Tjozongoro, Maria Malunga, Vijanda Kamberipa, Tusnelde Fillemon, Bytjie Zuana.