By Anele Zikali
As the country prepares to host the first ever Netball World Cup (NWC2023) in Africa from 28 July to 6 August 2023, it is all systems go for South Africa’s netball team, the SPAR Proteas.
The team’s head coach Norma Plummer said the 15-member squad’s preparations for the tournament are well on track.
“We are working on two training sessions a day now, just to fast-track the combinations on the court ... We will drop to one training session a day and focus more on the analysis of other teams going forward,” said Plummer.
She has a wealth of experience to draw on as she readies the team for NWC2023, which is being hosted by the City of Cape Town.
The netball veteran, who features in the Australian Netball Hall of Fame, has more than 50 years’ experience and is a former world cup winner as a player and coach for the Australian team.
With the SPAR Proteas playing on home soil, Plummer reflected on the pivotal role Netball South Africa has played in ensuring that the public gets behind the team.
“When we walk into the stadium it will be a great thing for them [the players] to have the support that they normally would not have. The visitors will enjoy [what] has been put together by the organisation [Netball South Africa].”
She said there has been growing support and publicity for netball in the country.
“I get surprised when I see a lot of men on the court, watching the games or even playing. They are not shy to raise their hands and play netball. It shows that this game is as tough and competitive as men’s sport. This will help to bring in more sponsors,” she added.
SPAR Proteas team manager Nisha Rupnarain thanked the sponsors that have helped the team with resources.
“The City of Cape Town has done a lot of hard work in preparation. The excitement is building up. We are absolutely grateful to the city for making sure that this event is a success. We are thankful to the sponsors, Netball South Africa and government for their support,” added Rupnarain.
For the latest updates, follow Netball South Africa on Twitter: @Netball_SA or Facebook: Netball South Africa. – SAnews.gov.za
*This article first appeared in Vukuzenzele