Ambitious Khomas Region Netball Premier League debutantes, African Catwalkers, have received a shot in the arm, after securing sponsorship from seven different organisations, including the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement.
The club, better known as AfroCat Lions, is set to become one of the biggest netball teams in the country following the injection of N$52,000 by the sponsors.
AR, a radical movement in Namibia, whose main aim is to improve the socio-economic conditions of urban youth, has committed N$15,000 annually to the club for three years.
Other sponsors include Nepando Trading cc (N$7,000 annually for three years), Woats Trading (N$10,000 annually for three years), Grant Thornton Neuhaus (N$5,000), Nessypark cc (N$5,000), Omaheke Pharmacy (N$5,000) and Great Horizon Printing cc (N$5,000).
The sponsorship will go towards the purchase of equipment such as balls, nets and hoops; league registration; team attires; rental of facilities; upgrade of facilities; transport and programme administration.
The sponsorship agreements were signed in March this year before the start of the Khomas Region Netball League that started in April.
AfroCat netball club was formed in 2009, but has now expanded its brand across six regions of the country.
The club is known as AfroCat Lions Netball Team in the Oshana region, AfroCat Southern Quivers in the //Karas region, Omaheke Warrior Queens in the Omaheke region, AfroCat Kavango in the Kavango East region, and AfroCat West Coast in the Erongo region.
AfroCat Executive member, Dimitri Bittler, said the club, which is currently in second position in the premier league, is aiming for a top-three finish in all three divisions of the Khomas Region Netball League this season.
“The Afrocat Sports programme in Namibia has continued to be an area of growth, and this year we increased registration numbers by approximately 220 percent to just short of 500. When you consider that just four years ago our registration numbers were 76, one wonders where we will be in 10 years,” Bittler said.
Last season, FNB Wanderers won the Khomas Region Netball Premier League ahead of former champions UNAM, but Bittler reckons UNAM are the biggest threat to their title ambitions this year.
There are 12 teams competing in the Khomas Region Netball League - UNAM, Wanderers, African Stars, Tura Magic, Tigers, AfroCat, Trustco United, NamPol, NUST, Go Monate Fella, Real Latinos and Black Africa.
The KNL consists of premier, and first and second division leagues.
The teams in the premier division are UNAM Main Campus, Tigers, AfroCat, NamPol, Black Africa, Wanderers and United.
In the first division there is UNAM Main Campus, NamPol, AfroCat, NUST, Tigers, Go Monate Fella, UNAM Khomasdal campus and United, while Tigers, Real Latinos, AfroCat A, B and C, Tura Magic, Black Africa, NUST, United and UNAM Khomasdal campus, participate in the second division.
Woats Trading General Manager, Patricia van Rooyen, said they decided to partner with AfroCat due to the club’s vision of promoting netball in most parts of the country.
“The partnership was signed this year after I attended a few games. We decided to partner because they are doing a great job by keeping the youth off the streets, which is something positive.It is not only about money, but about making a big change in the lives of those that want to play the sport,” said van Rooyen.
One of the founder members of AR, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, said the movement is not only focusing on netball, but also other sport codes that help in uplifting the livelihoods of the youth in the country.
“AR is based on three pillars, namely, political transformation, social transformation and economic transformation. Under social transformation is where sport comes in. We are not only sponsoring the netball club, but we are also sponsoring the AfrcoCat soccer team. AfroCat’s move will help pull the youth off the streets since we know about the whole issue of the Namibia Premier League not having a sponsor.We want sport played in all 14 regions of the country. After the three-year sponsorship we will make a final decision going forward,” Nauyoma said.
Saturday, 20 May
Black Africa v NamPol 13h50
Wanderers v Tigers 14H50
AfroCat Lions v United 14H50
United v NUST 16h10
Tigers v AfroCat 16H10
Tigers v Trustco United 13h30.
All matches will take place at Trustco United Courts in Olympia.
Khomas Region Netball
Black Africa 0
Khomas Region Netball First Division League
UNAM Khomasdal 4
Gomonate Fella 2
Khomas Region Netball
Second Division League
Tura Magic 4
Black Africa 4
Real Latinos 2
UNAM Khomasdal 0