KAMPALA – The Netball World Cup trophy was officially handed over to hosts of the upcoming event on Tuesday at a function held at the South Africa House in London.
The Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from the July 28 – August 6 at the International Convention Centre – the first such event on the continent.
The event brings together the top 16 teams in the world after every four years where hosts earn an automatic qualification for the competition.
The top five teams are determined through rankings on the date of qualification while the remaining 10 slots are filled through qualifiers in World Netball’s five regions with each taking two places.
The London function attracted the presence of South African High Commissioner to UK, Jeremiah Nyamane Mamabolo as well as the IFNA President, Liz Nicholl CBE in addition to Netball South Africa’s President Cecilia Molokwane amongst other dignitaries.
After the handover ceremony, the trophy was escorted to South Africa landing in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on May 25 to kick-start a six-week long tour of the country.
“It is our wish that South Africa’s hosting of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 will contribute to the growth of the sport, both at home and globally.
“It is also heartening to know that the trophy will make its way across the length and breadth of our country and in so doing, bring the sport of netball to all South Africans through fan parks and legacy projects,” noted H.E. Mamabolo.
Nicholl said: “We are thrilled to be here today at South Africa House for the official handover of the Netball World Cup trophy and the official start of the Trophy Tour.
“The Road to Cape Town began back in March 2019 when Netball South Africa was awarded the rights to host the event – so although the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 does not start until the July 28; the preparations and activations are very much underway in South Africa, and we are really enjoying seeing the whole nation get behind them.
“I am sure this support will grow significantly as the Netball World Cup trophy heads to South Africa to start a six-week tour.”
Netball South Africa President Molokwane noted how it had taken her country 60 years to host the event that started in 1963 with the rainbow state as one of the participants.
“We said we wanted the trophy to land on the May 25, which is Africa Day – because this is not a ‘South African’ tournament, it might be hosted in South Africa, but it is an African tournament,” said Molokwane.