Although the Netball South Africa (NSA) Executive Committee elections take place on Saturday, NSA President Mimi Mthethwa and Vice President Blanche de la Guerre are focusing their attention elsewhere.
Mthethwa and De la Guerre are in Perth to learn as much as they can from the very successful Western Australian Netball Union about growing netball as a sport, with a view to it becoming a professional sporting code along the lines of cricket, rugby and soccer.
“Elections aren’t something we worry about,” said Mthethwa. “We need to concentrate on what is important and that is why we are in Perth this week.”
They have had meetings with various officials who have advised them on the way forward. “Being here really shows us the areas in which we are lacking,” said De la Guerre.
“If we are going to be a successful netball nation, we need to have a fixed office with a fixed staff contingent, and backing from government.”
They will also meet the chief executive of Netball Australia, Kate Palmer, to discuss various issues, including the welfare of players, before flying home for the special NSA meeting ahead of the elections.
“Everything that we are doing here in Perth is testimony to our passion for netball” Mthethwa said. “I have never believed in campaigning for elections, and I’m not going to start now. If people cannot see what I have done and am doing for netball, then they mustn’t vote for me.”
Mthethwa and De la Guerre are both being challenged by Nompumelo (Mpumi) Javu of the Eastern Cape and Kgapane Rrabotho of Gauteng Central.
There are five candidates for the influential position of Director of Selection, currently held by Javu. The other candidates are Rrabotho, Sandra Khati, Christine du Preez and former national coach Louise du Plessis.
The two senior executives will miss the Test between the SPAR South African team and Malawi, which is to be played as a curtain-raiser before an encounter between world champions Australia and silver medalists New Zealand.