Netball World Cup trophy starts tour of host nation South Africa 

The Netball World Cup trophy was handed over to South Africa on Wednesday by World Netball in London and arrived the next day in Durban ready for its tour of the country, which is hosting for the first time ever by an African nation.

A report on World Netball says the Trophy Tour will start in KwaZulu-Natal, before moving to Gauteng, and then stopping off in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, before reaching its final destination in the Western Cape.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated Netball World Cup taking place from July 28 to August 6 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Netball South Africa said in its report that the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 “has always been considered as being more than just about the city of Cape Town and instead one for all of Africa to share, with four of the 16 competing African nations — South Africa, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe”.

Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane, who is also Africa Netball leader is quoted as saying: “Let it be an African spectacle, showcasing our culture and our uniqueness as South Africa because we are a rainbow nation and to me showing that Africa can do it and women can do it is the most important thing.

“We want to leave a legacy. Hosting the Netball World Cup is a first for Africa, so history will be made right here on home soil and right on our doorstep.”

The trophy landed in South Africa on the African Day and Molokwane believes it was not just “a coincidence that it touched down on our shores on Africa Day, we have always maintained that yes, the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 is hosted in South Africa — however, it belongs to the rest of the continent.

“We feel that as it gathers momentum around the country, it will also ramp up interest in the upcoming tournament itself. There has already been overwhelming support for the event, and with the 16 teams taking part also beginning to announce their final squads we can sense the shift in momentum.

“This is something for the entire country, and continent, to experience and be part of.”

New Zealand are the reigning champions having beaten 11-time winners Australia by one point in the 2019 final in Liverpool while England claimed bronze

Hosts South Africa were drawn against Jamaica, Wales and Sri Lanka in Group C while the champions New Zealand are in Group D alongside Uganda, Singapore and Trinidad & Tobago.

Group A has Australia, Zimbabwe, Fiji and Tonga with Malawi in Group B alongside England, Scotland and Barbados.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports to show live every game of the Netball World Cup 2023 across all its sports channels, with one match per round available to all on the Sky Sports YouTube channel up until the semi-final.

Match highlights will also be available daily on the Sky Sports App allowing netball fans to catch up on any action missed.

A report by World Netball says the deal was facilitated by the governing body’s international broadcast agency, SPORTFIVE, and ormer England stars Pamela Cookey and Eboni Usoro-Brown will join Caroline Barker in Cape Town, giving viewers expert insight and analysis from the competition.

Sky Sports director of multi sports Helen Falkus is quoted as saying: “The Netball World Cup is the pinnacle in the international calendar and we can’t wait to showcase all of the action live for Sky Sports subscribers.

“We’ll also stream selected matches live on the Sky Sports YouTube channel, making action from the tournament available to all.”

While World Netball CEO Clare Briegal is quoted as saying: “Under our core strategy Grow, we made it our aim to bring more netball, to more people, more often by developing our broadcast and digital media strategy and in turn increasing revenue and expanding the reach and profile of netball. This is a clear example of how we are achieving that.

“The Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 is our opportunity to demonstrate the skills of our amazing international netball athletes on the world stage and we thank Sky Sports for being part of this.”

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