Following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the lockdown level three restrictions have been reviewed and relaxed, Netball South Africa President, Ms Cecilia Molokwane and her Executive Committee decided that netball activities should resume effective from Monday, 8 February 2021.
Netball South Africa announced on 8 January that all planned netball activities had been suspended until further notice. Reasons for this was because the country had started seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases and the Honourable President Ramaphosa had announced new lockdown level three restrictions.
“The decision to resume netball activities was not an easy one, because we are still amid a pandemic and we needed to be very careful on how we will do things going forward,” said Molokwane.
“This was a balancing act, because key to our list of priorities is ensuring that we preserve the lives of all our stakeholders whilst we play the sport we love.
“As the Executive together with our Events and Compliance teams, we have put measures in place that will enable us to make sure that we protect the lives of everyone.”
The first event that will take place is the SPAR Challenge which was supposed to happen at the beginning of the year. The participating teams will be the SPAR Proteas, the SA President’s XII, the SPAR Baby Proteas (under 21), Uganda’s She Cranes with Namibia yet to confirm participation.
“The City of Cape Town is proud to partner with Netball SA for this major continental series.” – City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith
The SPAR Challenge will take place under strict health and safety regulations, this tournament will happen in a biologically safe environment in Cape Town from 24 to 31 March 2021. The teams will meet for a pre-training camp between 19 and 23 March 2021.
“The City of Cape Town is proud to partner with Netball SA for this major continental series,” said City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith
“As the home of Netball for the next three years leading up to the 2023 Netball World Cup, the Mother City will again showcase to the global stage that it can host major events in a safe environment despite the pandemic.
“We are looking forward to welcoming the teams to our city and for them to experience the beauty of the Mother City.”
The federation would also like to encourage local teams that would like to resume training and host coaching clinics to submit their risk mitigation plan to Netball South Africa’s offices for approval. This is done to ensure that everyone adheres to the rules and regulations.
“In such challenging times, we are blessed to be able to play competitive netball and our appreciation goes to the Department of Sports, Art and Culture, Netball South Africa and the City of Cape Town for partnering together to make sure that the 2021 SPAR Challenge takes place in a safe environment,” said Mike Prentice, Group Marketing Executive at the SPAR Group.
“From all of us at SPAR, we would like to welcome and wish all the teams competing in this series everything of the best during this time.”
The SPAR Proteas team and SA President’s XII team were announced in December 2020. Dr Elsje Jordaan, head coach of the SPAR Baby Proteas, will announce her final team before the SPAR Challenge.
She will use this series to get some game time for her players and get combinations right ahead of the Under 21 Netball World Youth Cup, in Fiji at the end of the year.
Photo 1 Caption: SPAR Proteas’ Shadine van der Merwe pictured in action for South Africa. Netball South Africa has announced resumption of competition with the SPAR Challenge to see action between the Proteas, the President’s XII, the Baby Proteas u21’s, Uganda’s She Cranes and possibly also including NamibiaPhoto: Supplied
With editing by gsport