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Netball registers first win

Pascalinah Kabi

MASERU — Lesotho’s senior netball team registered its first international victory in four years when they beat Namibia 33-25 in a Tri-Nations Tournament in Windhoek, Namibia, two weeks ago.
Lesotho however lost their next match to regional powerhouse Botswana by 27-23.
Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana took part in the tournament.
Botswana won the tournament after winning all their two games against Lesotho and the hosts.
Even though Lesotho lost to Botswana, the loss represented some progress given that Botswana are in 16th position on the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) rankings.
Lesotho is ranked at number 28 while Namibia are in position 26.
Newly appointed national team coach, Khauhelo Mokapela, told the Sunday Express their victory against Namibia represented a step forward for Lesotho.
“The improvement is huge considering that we’ve never won a single match in any international tournament that we’ve competed in,” Mokapela said.
“We didn’t just register our first win as a nation but we also won that match by a huge margin, a sign that we are on the right track to becoming one of the best teams in the region.”
The 32-year-old coach said they could even pick some positives in their loss to Botswana as the team is still developing.
“Even after we lost to Botswana, it was by a low margin and honestly speaking, I am happy that this was my first assignment as a national coach,” he said.
He however said there are still some problems that need urgent attention if they are to continue with their winning streak.
“We’ve had limited time training together as a team as most of our players are working and some are in school,” he said.
“That means we went into the tournament with limited training sessions as a team and it negatively impacted on our preparations.”
The former Lesotho Correctional Service defender said there is also lack of funding to support the team’s preparations.
“We’ve never had any international friendly matches as part of our preparations and going into these tournaments without knowing our weaknesses and strengthens is affecting us as we can’t analyse ourselves prior to the games,” Mokapela said.
He said he had requested
a meeting with the Lesotho Netball Association to present his long term plan for the team.

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