A world-class event and medal-worthy team - Netball SA president’s bold ambitions for World Cup
CAPE TOWN – Hosting the 2023 World Cup and the development of a national team worthy of a podium finish will form the twin spearhead of Netball South Africa’s thrust in the months ahead.
NSA president Cecilia Molokwane told a virtual media conference this week that SA would like to stage “a world-class African magical World Cup” as well as boast a team that in the end will “progress to the podium to get a medal”.
The two factors must go hand in hand, and she does not want to see the Proteas bombing out in the quarter-final round.
“The SA team’s performance and the hosting of the event, to me, are in the same WhatsApp group,” said Molokwane. “We want to host this beautiful thing (World Cup), but not forget that the national team must perform.
“We are going to make sure that it happens.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has slammed the brakes on World Cup hosting groundwork and as a result, the local organising committee is not yet in place.
Other hosting activities would have been in place by this time but for the Covid-19 enforced interruption. She is confident that in time NSA will work through the backlog of World Cup hosting tasks.
However, NSA has engaged with the SA government about World Cup hosting preparations.
“For now, we are not just sitting and doing nothing, we are having virtual meetings whenever we can,” Molokwane said.
“Last week we had a meeting with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. The meeting was chaired by the DG (Director-General) and we were able to report on our progress and where we are going.
“We want to make sure that we make this period of lockdown functional even though we are in an abnormal situation and it is not business as usual.”
Molokwane said the International Netball Federation is happy with what hosting work has been done
“Despite the time delays we are on track for 2023,” said Molokwane. “The International Netball Federation are happy, and we are not missing deadlines or payments or anything like that.”
The appointment of a project manager to head up World Cup preparations is a work in progress. The post has been advertised and Molokwane said job interviews will commence soon.
On the latest world rankings, the Proteas are in fifth place and Molokwane said this does not sit well with her because the team has occupied that position for a long time.
She feels very strongly about a professional league for domestic competition and said it could provide the sheet anchor for a team worthy of doing well against higher-ranked teams.
“You do not want to host a top-class World Cup tournament with a team that does not perform,” said Molokwane.@Herman_Gibbs