It’s been some weeks since South Africa was announced as the hosts of the 2023 Netball World Cup. An achievement not only for South Africa but also the African continent.

The 16th Netball World Cup is set to take place at Cape Town’s International Convention Center bringing 16 nations from around the world to South Africa’s coastal city, affectionately known as the Mother City.

Netball SA President instrumental in SA as Host

When Cecilia Molokwane was elected as president of Netball South Africa in October 2017, many would not have thought she and the Executive Committee would put together a top class bid that would eventually impress the International Netball Federation (INF).

She has been at the helm for over a year now, and her administration has achieved more than it dreamed.

INF president Molly Rhone, who made the announcement, said it was South Africa’s strong legacy programmes that swayed the hosting rights in its favour over New Zealand. New Zealand has hosted the global showpiece three times (1975, 1999 and 2007).

The legacy programmes include building and renovating netball facilities across the country up to the standard of the INF. This will of course allow more girls to play the sport from all corners of the country.

Africa will not be left behind

Where nations such as Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe are vastly growing in the sport; Netball South Africa plans to include the continent in its legacy programme much to the satisfaction of the INF.

It is estimated the costs of organizing the 2023 World Cup is around R88 million and is likely to generate R2.5 billion in projected income into the local and national economy.

For the next four years, it will be highly imperative for a professional league to be up and running. We currently have seven Spar Proteas players plying their trade in the big leagues in England, Australia and New Zealand.

Four years from now; it will be more lucrative to have our own players playing professionally on home soil.

This is also the time for corporate South Africa to start backing Netball. The sport remains the most popular female sport in the country; sadly lacking the support it so desperately needs.