100-days to Netball World Cup in SA

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Netball South Africa says it’s confident that the World Cup tournament which will be hosted in Cape Town at the end of July will be a great success story for the sport, the country and the continent. It’s the first time in history, that the prestigious event will be hosted in Africa.

The City of Cape Town has marked the 100-day countdown with much fanfare, unveiling among others, one of the latest legacy murals outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre where the tournament will take place.  It also announced plans to ensure that as many communities as possible have access to watch the matches.

The countdown is on, to what promises to be a spectacular showcase of women in sport. The tournament will run for 10 days from the 28th of July until the 6th of August. Sixteen teams will battle it out for the crown.

“It’s for the first time that a women-led federation is hosting a world cup in this country and after 60 years, I mean the world cup started in 1963 and we were part of those people that started the world cup in 1963 and it’s coming back now and saying Africa, South Africa hosts this world cup. It means that if you want a job done, send a woman, don’t undermine us, we have capabilities, we have got skills and it’s showing the world and everybody that women can do it and if you can give them the opportunity and the chance they can do it,” says Cecilia Molokwane, Netball SA president.

The City has announced that it is pulling out all the stops to rival the “gees” of the 2010 Soccer World Cup by opening up the precinct around the CTICC as a massive fan park for the duration of the tournament. A number of public viewing areas will also be set up in communities across the Cape Flats.


“We will have up to eight, we are finalising the exact number but probably around eight other fan parks around the whole of Cape Town to make sure that everyone in the whole city can participate in this world cup it is the first time in Africa, you really can feel the gees building, we really back our Spar Protea ladies as they go for their championship efforts here, so we want everyone across Cape Town and indeed the country to really be behind the team,” says Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town mayor.

An exhibition match which is part of the Street Netball programme formed part of the day’s festivities.

The programme will see over 700 junior netball players from areas including Grassy Park, Elsies River, Khayelitsha, Langa and Ocean View, participate in efforts to promote and grow the sport at grassroots level. The first official street netball games will take place on Friday.

“For us as South Africa with the many challenges we face, problems about electricity, we need these moments, something that unites us, 2010 was a great moment for us and I think we demonstrated to the world once more that we are ready to host, that is why we are bidding internationally for many world cups to come to our country, because we have demonstrated, I mean look at what the City of Cape Town has done, magnificent, excellent,” says Zizi Kodwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture.

A number of new courts, as well as upgrades to existing facilities are ongoing. This week, the provincial department of cultural affairs and sport handed over a newly constructed netball court to residents of the West Coast town of Hopefield. It says so far, 22 of a planned 48 legacy courts have already been completed across the province.

The South African team is set to take on Jamaica, Wales and Sri Lanka in Pool C while Australia, Tongo, Zimbabwe and Fiji will go head-to-head in the Pool A matches.