Unbeaten Baby Spar Proteas Qualify for the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 in Gibraltar

The Baby Spar Proteas won through as gold medalists to lead Malawi and Zambia as qualifiers for the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 in Gibraltar, after these nations claimed the top three spots at the Africa Regional Qualifiers, at the University of Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall in Gauteng on Saturday, 23 March, 2024. Photo: Netball South Africa

The Baby Spar Proteas have secured their place at the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 in Gibraltar, after beating Malawi in the final of the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 Africa Regional Qualifiers, played at the University of Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall in Gauteng, South Africa, on Saturday, 23 March, 2024.

Malawi recorded five wins in their six group-stage fixtures in the tournament, while the Baby qualified for the final on the back of an unbeaten streak that saw them convincingly despatch all competition.

The match was a physical encounter with the Malawian team using their height and physique advantage against the Proteas, but this did not deter South Africa who enjoyed vocal support of the home crowd.

South Africa enjoyed a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter for a 12-5 advantage, but Malawi made a strong return in the second quarter, to take the quarter 9-8 and a half-time score of 20-14 in favour of the home team.

The third session was going to the one that separated the two teams, and the Baby Proteas dug deep to win the quarter with discipline and precision, clinching the championship quarter 12-5 for a 32-19 scoreboard for South Africa.

Malawi’s goalkeeper Shabel Bengo was sent off for dangerous play on Renezia Andrews as the final quarter started, gifting South Africa a numerical advantage they used to pile on goals, to walk away with the regional honours at a 45-26 advantage.

Saturday’s action started with the 5th-6th place playoff between Namibia and Kenya, with Namibia into the decider with two wins against Kenya’s single victory, their pool-stage encounter having resulted in shared honours when the match ended tied 43-all, but on Saturday it was Kenya that edged the balance in their favour to win 50-42 and secure fifth place position.

Next up was the bronze medal match between Zambia and Zimbabwe, all-important with the winner of this match to secure this qualifier tournament’s final spot for Gibraltar in 2025.

Both teams came into the match with an equal number of wins, losses and points, separated only by goal difference in Zimbabwe’s favour.

Knowing what was at stake, both teams went off at full intensity from the first whistle for an equally-contested match, such that it looked highly possible that the match would go into extra time with both teams were tied on goals for the better part of the last quarter, but it was Zambia that grabbed the win in the match’s dying seconds to clinch third place, winning 43-41 in a heart-wrenching loss for Zimbabwe.

Final Standings of the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 Africa Regional Qualifiers, played at the University of Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall in Gauteng, South Africa, from 18-23 March, 2024

1. South Africa – QUALIFIED
2. Malawi – QUALIFIED
3. Zambia – QUALIFIED
4. Zimbabwe 
5. Kenya
6. Namibia
7. Tanzania

Overall Winners

Disciplined Team – Zambia
Promising Player – Harriet Muchuma
Best Shooter – Thandazile Ndlovu
Best Mid Court – Phophi Nematangari
Best Defender – Sanmarie Visser
Player of the Tournament – Karla Victor

Day 1 Results at the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 Qualifiers Africa played at the University of Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall in Pretoria, South Africa, on Sunday, 17 March, 2024

South Africa 75 – 7 Tanzania
Kenya 39 – 49 Zimbabwe
Malawi 43 – 28 Namibia
South Africa 72 – 9 Zambia

Day 2 Results on Monday, 18 March, 2024 

Namibia 55 -17 Tanzania
Zambia 37 – 42 Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe 29 – 62 South Africa
Tanzania 15 – 52 Zambia

Day 3 Results on Tuesday, 19 March, 2024

South Africa 70-17 Kenya
Malawi 64-24 Tanzania
Kenya 39-42 Malawi
Zimbabwe 44-45 Namibia

Day 4 Results on Wednesday, 20 March, 2024

Tanzania 17-62 Zimbabwe
Zambia 52-32 Kenya
South Africa 44-19 Malawi

Day 5 Results on Thursday, 21 March, 2024

South Africa 61-25 Namibia
Zambia 35-54 Malawi
Namibia 44-44 Kenya

Day 6 Results on Friday, 22 March, 2024

Namibia 41-45 Zambia
Kenya 44-25 Tanzania
Malawi 42-41 Zimbabwe

Final Results of the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 Qualifiers Africa played at the University of Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall in Pretoria, South Africa, on Saturday, 23 March, 2024

12:00 – 5/6 Playoffs: Kenya 50-42 Namibia
14:00 – 3/4 Playoffs: Zambia 43-41 Zimbabwe
16:00 FINAL: South Africa 45-26 Malawi


Original Copy: Netball SA, with editing by gsport

Photo Caption: The Baby Spar Proteas won through as gold medalists to lead Malawi and Zambia as qualifiers for the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 in Gibraltar, after these nations claimed the top three spots at the Africa Regional Qualifiers, at the University of Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall in Gauteng on Saturday, 23 March, 2024. Photo: Netball South Africa

Photo 2 Caption: Zambia broke Zimbabwe hearts when they won the bronze medal match 43-41 to clinch the final World Netball Youth World Cup berth. Photo: Netball South Africa

Photo 3 Caption: After playing to a draw in their group stage fixture, Kenya beat Namibia 50-42 in their 5th/6th place playoff in Pretoria on Saturday. Photo: Netball South Africa

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