Khomas Regional League Netball team The African Organisation of Catwalkers (Afrocat) Lions plans to become a professional outfit within the next five years, coach Dimitri Bittler said this week.
The team has been playing in the Khomas league for the last three years and is currently leading the log standings after just three games played so far this season.
“We are trying our best in order to become a professional club,” Bittler, who is also the Director of Afrocat, said in an interview this week.
“We have good players and this club has shown that it will grow from strength to strength and it can become a professional club.
“With the team, we have managed to take many young people off the streets and now they have at least managed to stay away from abusing alcohol and drugs.
“Our biggest wish will be to start paying these players, since we all know that netball players are not getting any salaries.”
The club intends to use sport as a tool to empower young people.
“Under the current Namibian economic setup, the youth are in a worrisome position, thus making them vulnerable to socio-economic challenges.
“We formed this netball team because we acknowledge the Directorate of Youth Development within the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service as one entity that is aggressive in addressing youth challenges.
“Therefore, through the netball team, we have joined the ministry to address the constraints that the youth faces.”
According to Bittler, the club currently does not have any major sponsors, besides the National Youth Council.
“We started off with other activities, such as modelling, but we realised that we needed to venture into sports, as it is where most of the youth interest lies.
“Aside from the main netball team, we have around five other teams representing us in lower leagues, with about 105 players in total.
“Our first team has already had a great start to the season, given that we have already won the three matches we played so far,” Bittler said.
The club currently trains at the A. Shipena Secondary School in Soweto during the week and most of their matches are played at the Katutura Youth Complex.
Netball player and Afrocat Secretary General Zelma Bittler said it has been a great initiative to form the netball club.
“As a player I would love to see the team grow to a professional club too.
“We have talented netball players in the team, who are more than capable of taking this team to another level.
“One of my biggest wishes in the next five years will be to play for my club at the South African Brutal Fruit Netball Games.
“It will also be important that the team turns professional, as this could also contribute to the eradication of poverty amongst the society,” she said.