SA urged to rally behind netball team at 2023 World Cup

South African Netball President, Cecilia Molokwane, has called on South Africans to support the South Africa national netball team at the 2023 Netball World Cup where they will be competing against 16 countries.

“It’s time for Africa and South Africa to shine. It is time for South African netball to shine. It is time for women to shine and the SPAR Proteas to shine. They can only shine if all of us are behind them,” Molokwane said on Friday.

Sixty years after the World Cup started in 1962 in England where South Africa was one of the teams that participated, the tournament will be hosted on African soil for the first time. It will take place in Cape Town from 28 July to the 6th of August 2023.

The City of Cape Town will establish a Fan Park outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre) where netball fans can watch matches on a big screen, enjoy live entertainment, play games and enjoy a family environment for the duration of the Netball World Cup.

“Sixteen counties in the world will be competing for this prestigious trophy to become world champions and we know that the SPAR Proteas, the netball team, will make sure that this trophy does not leave these shores and stays in South Africa

“We are the only continent in this competition that has four countries competing. We have South Africa, who are the winners already, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda that will be playing in this tournament,” she said.

Explaining the significance of the dates for the tournament, Molokwane said they were specifically chosen to celebrate Mandela Month and Women’s Month.

“This trophy will be played for from 28 July. It landed on 25 May; we wanted it to land in Africa on Africa Day. When it landed, I learned that the African Union was celebrating 60 years and it was for the first time in 60 years that the trophy was on the continent.

“When the girls play on 28 July, it will be at 6pm and South Africans will be back from work. South Africans can watch the game and support the girls as they play. Support the SPAR Proteas.

“Do not forget to support Banyana Banyana on Sunday. They are playing their first game against Sweden,” Molokwane said.

She made these remarks during the 2023 Netball World Cup activation at the Forum of the South African Directors-General (FOSAD) at Mount Grace Hotel and Spa, in Magaliesburg.

This event took place exactly a week before the beginning of the 2023 Netball World Cup and offered an opportunity to build hype and excitement of the tournament.

The Netball World Cup activation at FOSAD also included the entrance of the Netball World Cup trophy, which was welcomed with jubilation by the director generals.

Director-General in the Presidency, Phindile Baleni, expressed confidence in the SPAR Proteas keeping the trophy in the country.

“Thanks to the new constitution of this country we can afford to participate in such events. Let us not miss the moment that sports give us, which is to create social cohesion and a South Africa of champions.

“Like the women of 1956, when they marched on the Union Buildings, they were doing it for us to get opportunities. Let’s continue to create opportunities for women,” Baleni said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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