Eighty teachers, mainly from rural schools around the country, were afforded the opportunity last week to become accredited netball coaches by the Transnet Foundation.
The teachers will receive level 1 certificates if they succeeded in the course, which was conducted by Netball South Africa-accredited coach Hazel "Special" Gumede and Amanda Sekati for the Pretoria-based Rosina Sedibane School of Excellence.
Those who are successful will be invited to attend courses for level 2, 3 and 4 certificates.
This is part of Transnet Foundation's aim to develop different sporting codes at amateur level, with the main focus on rural areas.
The teachers who attended the course were from North West, Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.
The week-long course focused only on theory. The participants will be allowed to do practical sessions at their respective schools and clubs before they get their certificates.
Ntate Mothibe, the project manager from the parastatal, said the netball course was part of many courses they were conducting for different sporting codes.
"The Foundation is also targeting different sporting codes such as soccer, athletics, tennis, rugby and swimming. We are putting more emphases on the previously disadvantaged communities," said Mothibe yesterday.
"We have engaged Safa in our level I course for football coaches. We are also organising tournaments in different provinces that will afford our participants an opportunity to be part of.
"There will be events for different codes that will be staged at provincial level from two weeks' time. This will prepare the players for a national tournament in December.
"This is our part in answering the call for mass participation."
Gumede was equally ecstatic that her expertise in the game has been used to develop netball in the province.
"I was highly impressed with the way the teachers conducted themselves throughout the course. They demonstrated the zeal to know the sport and the development of netball will benefit a great deal from such teachers," she said.