Meyer focused on developing netball

By Michael Uugwanga

COACH of the women senior netball team, the Desert Jewelz has said that she wants to help Namibia become a formidable netball playing nation.

Julene Meyer in charge of the team for a year and six months now, managed to restore the team’s confidence by winning the M1 Nations Cup last year in Singapore, at a time when no one gave the team a chance.

With resources remaining the stumbling block for the team to compete regularly at the international stage, Meyer is still confident that they can compete against some of the top netball playing nations.

Meyer was speaking to Confidente Sports Desk about her plans for the senior team after a recent meeting with the Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Agnes Tjongarero.

“As head coach I have a professional relationship with Netball Namibia although it has been a frustrating year for various reasons but mostly the impact of Covid-19, lack of opportunities to participate in events, financial constraints and related impact on Commonwealth Games and World Cup qualification roadmap.

“I had a meeting with Minister Agnes Tjongarero to discuss various topics focused on developing, changing and growing netball for all stakeholders in Namibia. I am committed to execute my job to the best of my ability, to serve the Namibian netball community and make a valuable contribution wherever I can until such time as my services are not required anymore.”

Meyer, whose contract expires in December 2023, will also be required to guide the country to the 2023 International Netball Federation (INF) Netball World Cup to be staged in Cape Town.

“With the lack of opportunities for players to play netball at the moment, the national team squad is split into two groups as they will be competing in the Gravity Cup scheduled for 27 to 28 November with other local clubs,” she said .

Meyer (41) played for Namibia at junior level and she has also coached at junior level. She played for Namibia’s U19 side at the tender age of 14, while she was still a learner before she went on to play for South Africa’s senior netball team.

She was coach at North-West University which she guided to numerous varsity cups, and also helped the North-West U21 and senior level to a number of national titles in South Africa.

Meyer also helped develop Botswana netball by preparing that country for the 2018 Africa Championships and the 2021 Youth World Championships.

Meyer holds a Netball South Africa level 2 coaching qualification and in 2018 she completed a Regional Premier League qualification.

In June netball received N$4.2 million for three years towards the formation of a professional league from MTC Namibia, which is an amount of N$1.4 million per annum.

The MTC Netball Namibia Premier League will only start next year.