Will Crinums get to keep trophy?

2016-06-01 06:00
VICTORIOUS: The Free State netball team, the Crinums, celebrates lifting the 2016 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League trophy for the third time. The players are from the left, front: Sheri Duimpies, Danelle Lochner, Maryka Holtzhausen (with trophy), Alicia Puren and Lauren-lee Christians; back: Tanya Mostert, Khomotso Mamburu, Rieze Straueli, Gertriana Retief, Ma­ryke Coetzee, Lefebre Rademan and Karla Mostert.  Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

VICTORIOUS: The Free State netball team, the Crinums, celebrates lifting the 2016 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League trophy for the third time. The players are from the left, front: Sheri Duimpies, Danelle Lochner, Maryka Holtzhausen (with trophy), Alicia Puren and Lauren-lee Christians; back: Tanya Mostert, Khomotso Mamburu, Rieze Straueli, Gertriana Retief, Ma­ryke Coetzee, Lefebre Rademan and Karla Mostert. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

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IT is uncertain if the triumphant Free State netball team, the Crinums, will become the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League’s permanent trophy owners after winning it three times in a row. The victorious Free State team lifted the prestigious trophy for the third time after their 52-43 win over arch-rivals Gauteng Jaguars in the final played at the Olive Centre in Durban last Saturday (28/05). The gutsy Free State girls have won the floating trophy since the inception of the premier women’s league in 2014 against old rivals the Jaguars, who were again the favourites to clinch the championship this year.

Despite the Crinums’ deserving win, they are unlikely to become permanent owners of the coveted trophy designed by well-known jewellery designer Jenna Clifford. Express has reliably learnt that a regulation that any team recording three wins in a row would become permanent owners of the trophy was yet to be made. The Crinums’ historic win has sparked possible discussion about whether or not any team recording three wins in a row should become permanent owners of the trophy.

Netball South Africa (NSA), the federation governing netball in the country, appeared in the dark following the Crinums’ milestone achievement. A source said the NSA could raise the matter with the sponsors, South African Breweries, at the upcoming post-mortem meeting. The federation could not provide an answer to the big question of whether or not the victorious Crinums team would become permanent owners of the golden trophy.

Apparently, the stakeholders in the competition, the NSA and SAB, did not envision any team achieving such a feat of recording three wins in row since the competition was fairly new – inaugurated in 2014. However, the brave Free State Crinums prove they went beyond expectations, winning it three-times in succession – thus making history in South African netball.

The general feeling is that the triumphant Crinums’ unprecedented achievement should be treated the same as with other professional sport.

“Winning the BFNPL 2016 Netball League for a third consecutive time should be enough for keeping the trophy in the winning province,” said Erika Calitz, general manager.

“For other professional sport leagues it is standard procedure, so why not for netball? Netball SA is working very hard towards a professional status for netball and its players and in the professional sports arena, it is standard practice. The Free State Crinums have proven themselves worthy of being crowned the national champions in 2016. What makes this even more special is the fact that the team is building with youngsters in the 18-player squad.”

In South Africa, football teams that have achieved such feats in the Premiership are Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.

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