The Spar Proteas Netball Team Manager Claudine Claassen, Nosiphiwo Goda, Mr Gert Oosthuizen (Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation), Zanele Mdodana (Vice Captain), Chrisna Bootha, Mr Fikile Mbalula (Minister of Sport and Recreation), Aneret Viljoen, Mimi Mthethwa (President Of Netball South Africa), Amanda Mynhardt (Captain). Front: Bongiwe Msomi, Thuli Qegu, Erin Burger, Precious Mthembu at the Sandton Convention Centre for the Netball Diamond Challenge launch. Photo: Reg Caldecott

The Minister of Sport and Recreation SA, Honourable Fikile Mbalula, officially launched the Diamond Netball Challenge at a breakfast held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday 12 July 2012.

The Diamond Netball Challenge tournament features SA, Malawi, Botswana and Tanzania in inaugural round-robin tournament in Johannesburg and Cape Town from 11-19 AugustThe Diamond Netball Challenge will see South Africa, Malawi, Botswana and Tanzania competing in a round-robin tournament in Johannesburg and Cape Town from 11-19 August, 2012.

The objective of the tournament is to celebrate the role of women in sport, and in particular, elevate the profile of Netball in South Africa as we celebrate women’s month.

This is going to be just any normal netball event – it will offer spectators the added entertainment of live music and other surprises.

“We are very excited about the Diamond Netball Challenge, and our plan is to grow it into the premier netball event on the African continent,” said Minister Mbalula.

“Netball remains one of the largest sporting codes in the country, and it deserves to have a professional league and roar to the stature of the likes of soccer, rugby and cricket,” he said.

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

“The event forms part of Netball South Africa’s Vision for the Spar Proteas, that ensures that 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.”

Tickets will be available from Computicket shortly.