With the countdown having begun in earnest for next year’s Netball World Cup, taking place in Cape Town, SuperSport and Netball South Africa have formalised a partnership to take the sport to the lofty position it deserves.

The aim is to ensure the SPAR Proteas attain a podium finish next year with the long-term goal to drive interest and engagement throughout South Africa.

SuperSport has made a substantial investment in the team across several strategic pillars to ensure a seamless build-up to the World Cup.

Named Project Victory, it will be underpinned by five strategic pillars: team preparation, administrative excellence, human resource management, partnerships, media, and marketing.

SuperSport’s investment is to help the team prepare at optimum level for the demands of the World Cup.

Team preparation will include camps, support, human resources and facilities, staff development, technology enablement and competition support.

This will comprise a myriad of focus areas, including performance planning and logistics, squad selection and management, player profiling and monitoring.

Allied to this is team preparation (performance, support, player care and camp support).

Other elements supported by the investment include competition exposure, sport science and medicine support, holistic team development as well as staff development and immersion programmes.

Fifteen months ahead of the tournament, the two parties intend to ignite a fire and passion for netball by making it fashionable and relevant in the lives and in the hearts of South Africans.

SuperSport will be key in telling this story and providing a home for netball in its quest to win over the country ahead of the biggest event in SA netball history.

“Netball has not had the opportunity to tell its story. It is a powerful sport with strong principles and values of community,” said Marc Jury, chief executive of SuperSport. “The sport is blessed with incredible athletes, and we are committed to shining a light on them.”

Already, an anthemic campaign is in the production works and SuperSport will broadcast critical milestones along the way to next July’s World Cup, including all the Spar Proteas’ fixtures.

Significantly, its plans for the World Cup include producing the event for an international audience with an all-female broadcast crew.

SuperSport also broadcasts the under-19 DStv Schools Netball Challenge that is critical in helping to develop levels of excellence both among players and coaches.

Cecilia Molokwane, Netball SA president, endorsed SuperSport’s position. “It is time to give women’s sport the space and support it deserves. We will get the job done,” she assured, “bringing the nation together with a common goal; to passionately support their own. I think the time has arrived for us to allow this giant that has been sleeping to finally wake up and show the world its true potential.

“Occasions such as these are particularly important because they reassure us as a federation that we are headed in the right direction. If you strive to be the best, everyone will want to associate with you because people only want the best.”