Baby Jewels set to shine in SA

The Baby Jewels intend to sparkle at the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 qualifying tournament in South Africa. Photo: Ester Mbathera

Namibia is primed for fireworks at the Netball World Youth Cup Africa qualifiers, says u21 national team head coach Fernand Masambani.

The team of 15 baby Jewels left for Pretoria, in South Africa yesterday, where they will battle the host nation, Malawi, as well as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania for one of four spots up for grabs to represent the continent in the 20-team competition.

“Just expect fireworks. The way they show up in friendly games against Namibia Correctional Services, which has 90% senior national team players and even managed to beat Wanderers, I believe in them.”

Team captain Elizabeth Besser says they have prepared thoroughly and are raring to go. They face Malawi in their first match.

“We’ve really put in the work from day one and I feel that the coaches have really pushed us to our limits. What we can say to the nation is, we’re super prepared and I know we’re gonna bring extraordinary results for our country.”

Netball Namibia president Rebekka /Goagoses shares Besser’s confidence. She has faith in the youngsters’ ability and temperament to secure one of the coveted spots. The Netball World Youth Cup, which will be held in Gibraltar, is the pinnacle of netball competition for emerging players who are under 21 years of age.

“We’re very proud and excited to be part of this showpiece. The junior teams have been neglected for long and don’t get these opportunities to show their skills. They are the future Desert Jewels. We expect them to compete because we believe in their level,” says /Goagoses.

“This will not be first time they participate on the international stage. A few of the players were part of the Cosana Games in Malawi and we believe that from that experience, they got exposure. It’s an equal test and competition, it’s anyone’s game,” she notes.

“Without putting pressure on them, we just want to let the nation know that we are going to compete and at the end of the day reach the top three.”

The Baby Jewels are: Aila Andreas, Elizabeth Besser, Marne du Toit, Jorinda Fourie, Loide Kanyolo, Hope Kazondovi, Grace Matyayi, Chrystelle Mbaha, Jaepa Muhimise, Usuta Muvangua, Desdamona Tjirera, Tjikaa Uamburu, Rosa Gowases, Uapandera Muundjua and Godlove Victor.

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