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Excitement grips netball players as Telkom league returns

Competition will take place in bio-bubble

Ms Cecilia Molokwane, President of Netball South Africa.
Ms Cecilia Molokwane, President of Netball South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images

Netball SA (NSA) president Cecilia Molokwane could not hide her excitement about the return of the Telkom Netball League next month.

Pretoria and Rustenburg will host the eighth edition of the country's premier netball tournament in a bio-bubble.

Molokwane told Sowetan that she was worried about the lack of game time affecting the Proteas players.

SA will take part in the Commonwealth Games in England next year, and the first lady of SA netball hopes they will use the competition as part of the preparation for the Games in the UK.

In two years, SA will host the International Netball Federation World Cup in Cape Town.

The league will start at the University of Pretoria from Sep. 5-12.

There will be a two-week break, and it will return from Oct. 9-17 at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg.

Proteas stars such as captain Bongiwe Msomi, Khanyisa Chawane, Izette Griesel, Tshina Mdau, and Jessica du Plessis, to mention a few, will represent their provincial teams.

However, the players will leave before the conclusion of the league to travel with the Proteas to Jamaica where SA  will play in the Sunshine Series against Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in October.

Last year, the Gauteng Jaguars lifted their fourth successive domestic title.

Thirteen teams gathered under the same roof at the Indoor Sports Centre in Bloemfontein, Free State, to compete for top honours.

However, the Northern Gauteng Jaguars reigned supreme in the bio-bubble after a pulsating 38-26 victory over the Free State Crinums in the grand finale in October last year.

The telecommunication giants will sponsor the league for the third year running.

“It is an important year as we are drawing closer to the World Cup year. This league produced Proteas players, and it is growing every year. The sponsors are helping us to close the gap. We will see new talent in the two cities, and we are moving in the right direction. Eventually, we hope to have a professional league. I cannot wait for the first whistle to be blown with all the Proteas players taking part this year,” Molokwane said. 

The Kingdown Queens from KwaZulu-Natal made their debut last year. Molokwane said that a new team from the Eastern Cape would complete the list of teams participating in the league to 14 teams.

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