The Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League had its official launch at South African Breweries’ World of Beer on Monday, 4 April 2016, and its promise of bigger and better was evident in the eight-week tournament to be contested by 10 teams from across South Africa’s nine provinces.
This year will be the semi-pro tournament’s third instalment, and for the first time will span three cities in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Durban.
In the leading panel discussion with the Deputy Minister of Sport Gert Oosthuizen and Micah Naidoo, General Manager: Flavoured Alcoholic Beverages at SAB Miller, Netball South Africa President Mimi Mthethwa lauded the input of tournament naming rights sponsor, Brutal Fruit, and was quick to acknowledge the critical support from SASCOC and SRSA in the tournament’s development.
The launch also saw comments from the tournament’s ambassador, Simi Mdaka, Kingdom Stars captain Bongiwe Msomi and Crinums vice captain, Lauren-Lee Christians.
SASCOC President Gideon Sam also made a special appearance and congratulated Netball South Africa on their achievements: “On behalf of the entire sports movement, we salute you ladies.”
The keynote address by the Deputy Minister of Sport highlighted that participation in this league gives players the opportunity to showcase their talent and grow netball in South Africa. “I would like to congratulate Netball SA, I’m looking forward to a wonderful ‘Brutal’ experience. Play hard and play fair!”
The tournament (click link to view all fixtures at the Netball SA website) kicks off at the Heartfelt Arena in Pretoria on Friday, 8 April, before it moves to Ellis Park in Johannesburg for fixtures from 29 April, while the Olive Convention Centre in Durban will host the last leg starting 20 May.
Tickets are available at Computicket.co.za (R20/person), and games will be broadcast live on Supersport Select (channel 209).
Photo 1 caption: The 2016 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League launch promised improvements all around: 10 teams, 9 provinces, and eight weeks of top-level competition to determine a worthy winner of the third instalment of netball’s premier domestic competition. Photo: gsport
Photo 2 caption: In addition to its empowering relationship with tournament naming rights sponsor, Brutal Fruit (represented by Micah Naidoo, General Manager: Flavoured Alcoholic Beverages at SAB Miller, right); Netball South Africa President, Mimi Mthethwa (second from left) was quick to acknowledge the critical support from SASCOC (represented by Gideon Sam, not pictured) and SRSA (represented by Sport and Recreation Deputy Minister, Gert Oosthuizen, second from right). Photo: gsport
Photo 3 caption: The launch started with (from left) MC Kass Naidoo interviewing Freedom Stars captain Bongiwe Msomi, defending champions Freestate Crinums skipper Lauren-Lee Christians, and 2016 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League ambassador, Simi Mdaka, about what fans and competitors can expect from the third season of #BFNPL 2016. Photo: gsport
Photo 4 caption: Netball South African CEO Blanche de la Guerre (left) shares a moment with Bongi Msomi and Lauren-Lee Christians as the launch event wrapped. Photo: gsport
Photo 5 caption: One of the best indicators of the success of the event was the overwhelming media presence at the launch – another powerful sign of improving times for SA women in sport. Photo: gsport
With editing by gsport