MASERU — Lesotho will next month be among nine African countries that will take part in the World Netball Championships qualifiers to be held in Gauteng, South Africa.
The qualifiers will be to determine which two countries will join Malawi to represent the continent at the world championships to be held in Singapore next July.
Malawi automatically qualified for the championships when it finished fifth during the last championships held in New Zealand in 2007.
Apart from Lesotho, other countries that will take part in the championships are South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Uganda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Namibia and Guinea.
Lesotho, ranked number 23 on the continent, will however need a miracle if it is to edge out Africa’s netball powerhouses, South Africa and Botswana.
The two countries are currently ranked sixth and 17 respectively by the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA).
Lesotho Netball Association public relations officer ‘Mampiti Thamae told the Lesotho Times the team went into camp three weeks ago to prepare for the qualifiers in South Africa.
“We have 14 players in camp training on weekends only at Central Prisons as part of our preparations for the world netball qualifiers in September,” Thamae said.
Thamae said Lesotho will face South Africa in the opening match on September 6.
“We are playing our very first match against South Africa on September 6 in Gauteng,” she said.
She said the players were in a buoyant mood ahead of the qualifiers.
“The players are positive and willing to learn new things that the coach is introducing as part of their preparations for the matches.
“In the history of netball in Lesotho, this is the first time that we have been ranked by IFNA as well as to compete in the world netball championships,” Thamae said.