Future ‘premier netball event in Africa’ launched

2012-07-13 12:14

After their successful campaign against Jamaica and Northern Ireland, the national senior netball team will host Malawi, Botswana and Tanzania in the Diamond Challenge next month.

The Proteas recently beat Jamaica in an international netball Test match for the first time in 28 years (56-49) in Kingston, Jamaica.

They went on to beat Northern Ireland 3-0 in the Test series this week in Cape Town.

The tournament, which was launched by the sport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, yesterday will take place in Johannesburg and Cape Town from August 11 to August 19.

“Our plan is grow it into the premier netball event on the African continent. Netball remains one of the largest sporting codes in the country and it deserves to have a professional league and roar to a stature of the likes of soccer, rugby and cricket,” said Mbalula.

Netball South Africa’s Mimi Mthethwa said the series was also aimed at developing netball in Africa.

“One of our mandates is to also help our African neighbours to grow. This initiative will give them a platform to improve and develop their netball and the rankings.

“The plan is for the Diamond Challenge to become an annual event hosted by South Africa, with various invitational teams being invited.

“The event also forms part of Netball South Africa’s vision for Proteas that ensures we strive towards consistently being among the top three teams in the world, develop heroes among our youth and further grow the game at all levels and areas,” added Mthethwa.

The Challenge winner will walk away with R250 000.

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