Tafic netball team prepares for national league
Tafic Netball Club is back at training following the end of the State of Emergency last month.
The embattled northern side whose compliance with the Registrar of Societies is still under scrutiny is back at the usual Botswana Accountancy College grounds.
In an interview with Voice Sports, coach Shathiso Mugibelo who is in charge of both the ladies and men’s teams said he has registered 28 and 19 players respectively.
“We’ve put issues of our status behind us and are focused on returning to play,” he said.
Mugibelo told Voice Sport that the team is racing against time to be match ready ahead of the revival tournament slated for December.
According to the coach, the team has great potential to do well in the coming 2022 National Netball League.
“We have an exciting blend of young talent and seasoned players, and it didn’t come as a shock when one of our players was called up to the National Under-21 team,” boasted Mugibelo.
Founded in 2013 and affiliated to Botswana Netball Association (BONA) the following year, Tafic first competed in the national league in 2016. They made it to the Top 8 and finished an impressive fifth in their maiden appearance.
The good performance earned Mugibelo the position of Head of Equipment during the 2021 World Cup that was hosted by Botswana, while his Secretary was part of the Field of Play team during the famous ‘Re a ba tsaa’ netball showpiece.
“In 2018, both the ladies and men’s teams made it to the Top 8, finishing seventh and sixth respectively,” he said.
“Sadly there has been no netball action since 2019,” added Mugibelo ruefully.
The national netball league is made up of 16 teams, eight from the north and eight from the south of the country.
Four teams from each region make it to the Top 8 to fight for the Championship.
In the north, Tafic faces serious competition from Orapa, Sua, Tasc, Bots-Rail, Morupule, Arsenal and Boteti Giants.
The tactician further told Voice Sport that despite being in existence for just eight years, they have had relative success.
“In 2018 we won the Mayor’s Cup and the BONELA Cup,” he said.
The team is however experiencing its some challenges as, according to Mugibelo, they have only one playing kit, which is now thread bare.
“The kit was donated by The Voice founding Editor Donald Moore (RIP), and we’ve never had another kit since then,” Mugibelo said.
The passionate coach said he’s literally financing the team from his own pockets.
“I pay for players’ transportation to come for training, and most of the time we struggle with transportation to honour our fixtures,” he said.