Test series to be played in bio-bubble

Netball SA to host Uganda despite Covid concerns

Cecilia Molokwane, President of Netball South Africa.
Cecilia Molokwane, President of Netball South Africa.
Image: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images

Despite the second wave of Covid-19 in the country, Netball SA (NSA) is forging ahead with its plans to play a Test series against Uganda in Cape Town, from January 20-27.

NSA president Cecilia Molokwane assured the players and fans that the series would go ahead as planned without hitches.

The Spar Proteas and Uganda's "She-Cranes" will play the three-match Test series in a bio-bubble. But it will cost NSA to make it happen as they have to pay for the cost of testing the entire Ugandan team.

On Thursday, Molokwane met the coaches and sponsors to discuss their plans.

Molokwane said as much as they are concerned about the virus, they cannot afford to pass the opportunity to prepare the team for the big tournament on home soil.

NSA played three of its events in a bio-bubble last year and learned a lot from that experience.

“Bringing Uganda here for the series will hit us in the pocket, but we have no choice but to dig deep into our pockets. They have to test from their own country and do another test when they arrive in South Africa. We will cover the costs of their Covid-19 tests and quarantine for a couple of days. We will conduct a final test, and then we will be ready to play,” said Molokwane.

In November, the Proteas played in a Test series against the Malawi Queens in Sun City. Even then NSA covered the costs for the Queens.

“We have a partnership with Lancet Laboratories and we decided to go private to make things quicker and simpler. Uganda must come here carrying results that show that they have tested. They will do another test again in SA, and then we can play. We have to do it in a bio-bubble, and we can confirm that the series will go ahead as planned. The Ugandan team will have to arrive in the country a little bit earlier because of the test and quarantine processes.” 

Molokwane, who last year was named among the first high profile coronavirus cases, recovered well to resume her duties as NSA president.

“Covid-19 does not move, but the people do. Leave your home when it is necessary to do so and avoid attending unnecessary gatherings. That is how the virus spreads,” she added. ​

In 2023, SA is scheduled to host the International Netball World Cup in Cape Town.


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