JOHANNESBURG - It is confirmed: The SPAR National Netball Championships are to take place next month in Bela Bela, Limpopo.
After numerous months of not playing professional netball, the government finally granted Netball South Africa (NSA) permission to host the championships and have selected the Zwartkloof Resort as the venue for the tournament from December 7-12.
Mami Diale, the tournament director, said the championships would be smaller than usual because of the circumstances.
“There will be 40 teams taking part, 20 Under-21 and 20 senior teams. There won’t be a C-section this year,” said Diale.
“Eight teams will play in the senior A-section. They will play on a round robin basis, ending with semi-finals and a final.”
Diale also mentioned that all participants will be expected to undergo a Covid-19 test 24 hours before the tournament begins and then self-isolate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are taking over the resort so there will be no mixing with the outside world. We want to ensure everyone’s health and safety and will be creating a ‘soft bubble’ in Bela Bela in line with the government’s Covid-19 safety rules and regulations.
🗞️ The SPAR National Netball Championships, which are to take place at Bela Bela in Limpopo from 7-12 December, will have a very different look and feel this year.— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) November 18, 2020
READ | https://t.co/TQubmi2Q9E#SPARNationalChamps #WeAreAllIn #StopGBV | @My_SPAR @TelkomZA @Twizza_ZA pic.twitter.com/pbBmKtXeTY
Due to the hot weather conditions in Bela Bela, Diale said the matches will start earlier than usual.
“Because it is expected to be very hot in Bela Bela, we will start very early in the morning, with the first matches at 06:00am. There will be a three hour break from noon until 3pm.”
Spectators will not be allowed inside the venue during the period of the Championships.