Netball SA hoping to host Scotland this year amid coronavirus outbreak

Proteas captain Bongi Msomi
Proteas captain Bongi Msomi
Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images
  • Netball South Africa iscurrently planning on hosting an international series against Scotland for the end of the year.
  • Before any series can be confirmed, Netball South Africa is working on its government proposal to safely resume netball.
  • Proteas captain Bongi Msomi revealed to Sport24 that she is excited to get back to action this year.

Netball South Africa (NSA) confirmed plans to stage an international series this year despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Proteas have been out of action since January after losing their third-place playoff at the Netball Nations Cup against England.

The South Africans were scheduled to compete in the Quad Series in Australia in September, which has since been cancelled and a new date still being negotiated.

Under the Level 3 lockdown regulations, professional non-contact sport is permitted, but with no recreational or amateur sport allowed.

Netball, which falls in the contact sport bracket, is only allowed training during level 3 of the lockdown.

NSA Communications Manager Nnusi Gazi told Sport24 that there are talks for Scotland to tour South Africa at the end of the year.

However, the governing body would need approval from the government to host the series and abide by strict safety regulations.

Proteas captain Bongi Msomi revealed that the team is being "well-looked after" despite all activity being halted due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

"We have meetings like this as a team where we catch up and get updates as a team," Msomi told Sport24 on Tuesday.

"We have our sports scientist, who prepared training programmes for the team. She updated the programme baring in mind that we aren't competing at the moment and the preparations need to align with what might come in the next month or so.We are well looked after, the coaches send in netball skill drills so we can kind  of add it to our strength and conditioning sessions."

Msomi admitted that the lockdown has been tough as there is lots of uncertainty over when the Proteas will return to action.

"With the Proteas, there will probably be a netball camp ... having this idea of maybe we're playing is exciting, even the idea of being able to play this year because it's been long... the worst thing is not knowing when it'll happen with so many fixtures and tours postponed or cancelled."

NSA revealed that the country's premier netball tournament, the Telkom Netball League (TNL), is suspended due to the outbreak with no fixtures announced yet.

Msomi believes the TNL could resume in October but they are still awaiting confirmation from NSA.

"Everything is on hold for now because of the lockdown restrictions but Netball South Africa has mentioned that the plan is to have the Telkom Netball League go on in October until November and all the provisional teams now are preparing for that. At this stage, we still haven't started training in groups, which I hope we'll probably start next month."

The TNL sees 12 teams from across the nine provinces play over seven weeks.

Meanwhile, Msomi has asked netball fans to sign up for the Women's Virtual Challenge on 26 September.

* On 26 September, fans who have entered can run, jog, walk, skip or even dance their own challenge at their own pace, choosing their own route and completing their challenge at any time between 06:00 and 21:00. They then share their experience on social media, using the hashtags #BeSunshine or #SPARVirtualChallenge.

The organisers are hoping to set a world record for the number of entrants in a women's virtual challenge.

For an entry fee of only R50, each entrant will receive a challenge t-shirt, a buff and challenge magazine. But that's not all - for every entry, SPAR will donate a food parcel to a survivor of gender based violence (GBV).

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