While early progress has been halted in preparation for the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town, as the sport remains on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, Netball South Africa (NSA) is confident it has time to get back on track when lockdown restrictions are lifted.
“Covid-19 has affected us, especially in preparing the LOC (local organising committee) for 2023 because it should have been formed by now, and there are other things that should also have been done which have not been done,” said NSA president Cecilia Molokwane.
“We are hoping, at the end of this [lockdown], whatever things we have to do shall be done at that time.”
Under level three of the national lockdown regulations, professional netball players were allowed to train, but competitions were still suspended for all contact sports.
Molokwane, however, said they were in regular talks with government and the International Netball Federation (INF) in an attempt to relaunch the game later this year and continue with preparations for the World Cup.
“We are not sitting and doing nothing,” Molokwane said.
“We are having virtual meetings and we met with the department of sport, arts and culture last week to look at how far we are, where we’re going and how we can make things more productive and functional under the circumstances.”
Earlier this week it was confirmed that the Quad Series four nation tournament between SA, Australia, New Zealand and England, scheduled to be held Down Under in September, had been cancelled.
At domestic level, the Spar National Championships was scheduled to be held in Cape Town in August and the Telkom Netball League was provisionally pencilled in for September and October, but NSA believed both tournaments could be pushed back a few months.
“December might be very packed,” Molokwane said, “but we’ll have to do it because at the end of the day we have sponsors who we have to please. We have to adhere to contracts, even though it’s not business as usual.”