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INF nominated for Sports industry award

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The International Netball Federation’s social media campaign for the Netball World Youth Cup 2017 has made the shortlist for the BT Sports Industry Awards 2018 Social Media Campaign of the Year. The BT Sport Industry Awards are the largest commercial sports awards in the world, celebrating the very best work from across the sector.

The Netball World Youth Cup, which is the pinnacle of netball competition for emerging players aged under 21, took place in Gaborone, Botswana last summer and was the first international INF event to be held in Africa. The “mobile first, content everywhere” social media campaign created and delivered by QTV Sports in conjunction with Botswana TV and Tsena Online, attracted two million views on Facebook, one million on TV, over half a million on YouTube and 55,000 on Twitter – making it the INF’s biggest online audience ever for a world netball event.

Nikki Richardson, Head of Communications for the INF, says: “We are thrilled to be short-listed for such a prestigious award. Our mission is to take netball to our fans in a way that is relevant, immediate and accessible to them and to showcase our sport to new followers all over the world. “The end-to-end digital content strategy enacted by QTV Sports at the Netball World Youth Cup certainly delivered, taking netball to the widest possible audience across multiple platforms in an innovative way, bringing them closer to the action and winning new fans for our sport.”

The BT Sport Industry Awards Judging Process is one of the most transparent and stringent procedures of its kind with over 60 hours of intensive judging. Conducted in two stages and all overseen by EY, the process begins with the entries being reviewed and judged by the Steering Committee, featuring figureheads and industry heavyweights, to produce the Official Shortlist. This element of the process spans three weeks and sees more than 80 experts from across the industry and beyond decide the final list.

The BT Sport Industry Awards Judging Panel will then decide the winner of each category, to be announced at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2018 on April 26th 2018. Over 20 million people play netball around the world, in more than 80 countries. The International Netball Federation (INF) is the sole, internationally recognised, governing body for netball, affiliated to GAISF, the International World Games Association and the Association of Recognised International Sports Federations, receiving funding from the International Olympic Committee. Currently, 72 National Netball Associations are affiliated to the INF, grouped into five Regions – Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and Oceania – each with a respective Regional Federation.

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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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