Netball Namibia, Debmarine in talks

By Michael Uugwanga

DEBMARINE Namibia is still in discussion with Netball Namibia (NN) regarding a future partnership, following the premature end of their three-year sponsorship agreement that was signed in August 2017.

“Despite their contract having come to an end premature, Debmarine Namibia said it has enjoyed its short relationship with Netball Namibia and is looking forward to helping the sport of netball grow in the country. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to partner with Netball Namibia and have appreciated the two years of fantastic netball throughout the country, as well as the Desert Jewel’s achievement as M1 Nation champions. However, Debmarine Namibia is still in discussions with Netball Namibia to see how our partnership can best navigate current affairs and continue to benefit netball players and fans countrywide,” said Stella Ipinge, Debmarine communication manager in an interview with Confidente Sport.

The diamond prospecting and mining giant injected N$1.8 million in sponsorship towards Netball Namibia’s activities, including regional leagues, training of about 20 local umpires and assisted in developing a fully-fledged website for the netball association. The company also gave N$10 000 annual grants to each region for development purposes, contributed towards the Namibia Senior Regional Netball Championship and the hosting of the annual five nations netball pent series, which involves Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Swaziland. 

Last year Netball Namibia did not host the regional netball championship and the Five nations series as part of the sponsorship agreement with Debmarine Namibia, because Netball Namibia at the time was busy finalising preparations for then newly appointed head coach Julene Meyer and the entire technical team, although the sponsorship agreement was in its final year.

Debmarine Namibia is the sponsor of the women senior netball team, the Desert Jewelz which won the M1 Netball Nations Cup last year in Singapore and also the Pent Series on home soil in 2018.

The M1 Nations Cup triumph has seen Namibia moving up places after it accumulated 699 points at the end of May, jumping to 23 from 30 in the International Netball Federation world rankings.

In June, Netball Namibia was one of the lucky recipients of the MTC multi-million dollar sports sponsorship towards the formation of the country’s top flight netball league with an amount of N$4.2 million over a period of three years.

The aim of the MTC sponsorship is to nationalise the sport in order for the country to have a professional netball league.

Additional funding from Debmarine will further boost netball that has resurfaced after many years in the doldrums due to lack of funds at its disposal.

“Unfortunately the pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works negatively affecting a myriad of activities. Outcome of these discussions will be shared once finalised,” said Ipinge.