The 49 days countdown to Netball World Cup has received a warm welcome in Mangaung, Bloemfontein. The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Zizi Kodwa says the activation seeks to further increase and attract interest of the country’s citizens to rally behind the netball national team.
It is also to acquaint as many people as possible with the upcoming world sporting event. It will be the first Netball World Cup on African soil.
The Minister was accompanied by his provincial counterparts from six provinces. The event is the curtain raiser to the Free State leg of the trophy tour. The trophy will tour the Free State from June the 14th to 18th.
Less than 50 days before the start of the Netball World Cup:
Young people and adults came in numbers to witness the moment. And, the learners demonstrated their know-how and accuracy of shots at the netball poles. Kodwa says this is a historic event.
“Like we said in 2010 “Feel it, it is here.” In 2023 we say, “Feel it, it is here,” and you can see the activations, because sport is very important, it plays an important role to bring people together. And we think netball must be used to make sure that we develop women’s sport. This is a year of women in sport, we’ve seen many of them, the sporting codes, that indeed carry the aspirations of South Africans. This time around, we are very hopeful that our team will do well in Cape Town.”
Sport has been described by many as a platform to bring people together, but for young people the approach is different. It’s not only about bringing people together but to also have fun. This is what some of them had to say.
“I do think netball is a fun sport. I’ve been playing since grade 2, and I’ve been recently in both Free State teams for netball for Grade 6 and 7. So I really think, I really enjoyed and I want to pursue it,” says a young person.
“I can say it’s very nice and by the way I’m the captain of the team,” another young person explains.
“It is a fun sport, like I really like jumping and running, so it was an opportunity for me,” a young person elaborates.
The World Cup trophy arrived in South Africa on the 25th May, the day for the continental celebrations of Africa Day. And ironically the Netball World Cup tournament will be played on the African soil for the first time ever. The Netball World Cup will run from the 28th July to 06th August 2023.