The traditional candle-lighting ceremony to mark the start of the Netball World Cup 2023 took place with much jubilation and African flavour in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday, 26 July, with just two days to go to the start of the event.
Since the inaugural tournament in Eastbourne, England, back in 1963, captains of each of the participating nations have taken part in the ceremony, which includes lighting a candle and pledging an oath to play in the spirit of true friendship and sportsmanship.
A representative of the match officials also lights a candle, pledging to officiate with fairness and impartiality according to the rules of the game.
As time has gone on, the candle lighting ceremony has become a symbol for international netball, celebrating the worldwide impact of the sport – a light that represents the history and the camaraderie of netball.
President of World Netball Dame Liz Nicholl DBE addressed the 16 teams, tournament officials and dignitaries including South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa, saying: “This ceremony represents and reinforces our netball values.
“Even in the middle of thrilling and competitive world-class competition lies friendship and respect that we feel every day.
“This is an opportunity to reconnect with members of the Netball Family from around our world.”
Nicholl pointed out that 42 countries, over 500 athletes and numerous coaches and officials took part in the five regional qualifying tournaments to get to Cape Town for the Netball World Cup 2023.
“We’re now here in Cape Town with the best 16 teams in the world and 23 world-class technical officials ready for what we know will be 10 days of absolutely fantastic competition,” she said.
The vibrant event gave the visiting teams a taste of what to expect at what promises to be an exuberant and colourful first ever Netball World Cup on African soil.
The Netball World Cup 2023 takes place from 28 July to 6August at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Details on tickets and travel packages and more information on the tournament are all available on the official website (www.nwc2023.org.za) with a range of tickets and packages still on offer.
gsport4girls will be sharing exclusive coverage across newsroom and website throughout the tournament live from Cape Town!
Photo 1 Caption: South African Captain Bongiwe Msomi lights the candle during the Netball World Cup Candle Lighting Ceremony held at the Artscape on Wednesday, 26 July, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. The traditional candle-lighting ceremony, by each of the 16 participating teams captains, marked the start of the Netball World Cup 2023. Photo: by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023
With editing by gsport