British Consul General hosts game of netball to celebrate final stop of trophy tour

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The British Consul General in Cape Town hosted a game of Netball last night to celebrate the final stop of the Netball World Cup Trophy tour.

The Cup was collected from the United Kingdom in May and has been on a tour throughout South Africa. This as part of the major outreach programmes attached to the first ever Netball World Cup championships to take place on African soil.

The City of Cape Town will host the tournament which shoots off in just over two weeks.

Invited guests to the British Consulate General had the opportunity to take pictures with and admire the sought after Cup.

As former hosts to the World Cup, the United Kingdom handed the trophy over to South Africa in May. It was taken to the 52 netball districts of all 9 provinces in South Africa before going on display for the last time ahead of the start of the tournament.

British Consul General in Cape Town, Colin Leeman, explains, “This is the end of the tour, so it’s recognising that. But it’s also recognising that in a couple of weeks’ time, 15 teams from around the world are going come to Cape Town. Three of those are from the UK and we just want to say thank you to the city of Cape Town, the organisers, South African netball for everything they’ve done and everything that’s about to happen to deliver a great tournament.”

Building momentum

The City of Cape Town’s Deputy Mayor, Eddie Andrews, says the tour was aimed at building momentum and excitement for the World Cup being hosted in South Africa.

Andrews says a major component was outreach programmes in far flung areas to encourage young people to participate in sport.

“A child in sport is a child out of court, we understand that when there are social ills in the communities that we have to offer a healthy alternative and that’s what sport offers. There’s been amazing interest over the past couple of weeks that you have a world tournament in Cape Town. The clubs that I’ve spoken to at this event have told me they are bursting at the seams, they don’t have capacity anymore, and that’s what it’s about. That’s a good problem to have.”

‘SA is ready’

Meanwhile, Netball SA President, Cecilia Molokwane, says the South African squad is ready. Molokwane has no doubt that home ground advantage will carry the team to victory.

And simply to celebrate the sport, a team made up of politicians and anyone that was willing, played a match against the Weltevreden under 19 netball team from Mitchells Plain.

The young players often struggled to focus. Their opponents made them giggle.

In the end, the under 19’s took top honours.

No one is sure by what margin, but the definite winner of this match was the game of netball.