The Swaziland Building Society (CBE) has once again showed their commitment towards sports development by sponsoring the eSwatini National Netball Association (ENNA) with E175 000 for the 2019/20 season making the total sponsorship towards netball to stand at E375 000 in the last 3 years. The netball sponsorship comes exactly a month after the society pumped in E140 000 towards tennis. The 2019/20 netball sponsorship has seen an increase of 75% from the past 2 seasons which had been sponsored by E100 000 each. Presenting the new sponsorship package was SBS Managing Director, Tim Nhleko who said the society was very happy with their ENNA coordination. “We believe that ENNA has a huge potential of going forward. We are happy to work with dedicated people and it is evident in that the number of teams has grown,” said Nhleko. He appreciated the presence of the Minister of Sports, Culture
and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga, who despite jetlag as he was fresh from the USA, was able to grace the event.
Nhleko said the society was attracted to netball regardless of it being less dominant, saying they prided themselves in giving back to the community in all corners and making a change to the lives of the country’s youth
towards a better future. Also present during the presentation was the National Olympic Committee, Eswatini Sports and Recreation Council representatives and the netball associations executive members. “This is our way of saying thank you to the nation, which has supported us all along and we hope that our partnership continues,” added
Nhleko. ENNA President, Simangele Motsa, who spoke on how the sponsorship has helped the association in keeping its mandate, heaped praises towards the generosity of the society. Motsa mentioned some of the challenges that
were faced by the netball fraternity and pleaded with the minister to assist them. The major issue that needs current attention according to Motsa was the shortage of outdoor courts which is the standard requirement in netball. Motsa, on behalf of the association promised their loyalty towards their main sponsor and assured to always work cooperatively to keep the partnership in good health.
SPORTS MINISTRY WORKING TOWARDS PROFESSIONALISING SPORT
“As a ministry we have set a goal of professionalizing sport in the country, a target that feeds into the country’s overall objective of attaining First World Status by 2022,” said Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries “Madze” Bulunga. Bulunga was speaking during the grand opening of the Swaziland Building Society’s
Netball League which has been sponsored to the tune of E175 000. The minister first forwarded gratitude towards the society for their dedication towards improving sports. “Today, we are here to witness yet another marker of the society’s deep love for Eswatini sport,” he said, adding that he was pleased to note that this year’s package had risen by over 70% from E100 000 in 2018. Bulunga said as the ministry they were looking to capitalize on the fact that sports was a major economic booster in most of the world’s leading economies and as the Kingdom of eSwatini they were working on ways which would allow them to reap the full economic benefits that come with professionalism
in sports. “To achieve that goal, we will need the support of all stakeholders including our beloved sponsors like the Building Society,” said Bulunga, adding that not only would players and coaches benefit but all those involved in sport. He said they would reap bigger rewards including their business partners who would find that the
return and impact of their investment was bigger and wider. “Make it a point that this money is only used for what it is intended and ensure that your work is characterized, at all times, by integrity, hard work, transparency and accountability,” warned Bulunga to the Netball Association. He said ENNA must be cautious with the funds pumped into the association by the society. The warning extended also to the participating clubs, who were warned to play
fair at all times and remember that their behavior on and off the field would have effects on the esteemed partner, Building Society.