Netballers aim high

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

The second instalment of Netball South Africa's merit tournament will be held at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg.

The tournament, taking place from March 14 to 16, caused a minor stir when in its inaugural year last year Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile questioned its noncompliance with transformation requirements, citing teams that had only white or black players in them, like Gauteng East, Gauteng Central and Zululand.

The president of Netball South Africa, Mimi Mthethwa, reportedly had to explain that the purpose was to give all players, who under transformation requirements would not be part of their provincial teams, a chance to display their ability.

"Regions don't have to abide by the quota system, which compels all teams to have on court at all times a 5:2 ratio, meaning there should be five white players and two black, or five black and two white. This is not a requirement in this tournament," Portia Modise, development officer of Netball South Africa, said.

Of the players selected from this tournament, Christine Markgraaf, Precious Mthembu and Refiloe Mochaka have gone on play in the national team.

There will be a hint of sadness to Free State's title defence after the death of centre Yvonne Phiri .