CAPE TOWN - Proteas captain Bongiwe Msomi is urging the South African government to rally behind Netball South Africa’s bid to host the 2023 World Cup. It will be the first time the tournament is hosted in Africa.
The tournament, which would be exclusive to a hosting city, would provide an economic injection in excess of R2.6 billion.
More than the financial gain, would be the boost to women in sport in South Africa - and by extension Africa.
The 2023 Bid deadline is June 30 and the bid has to be endorsed and have the full backing of the government.
Msomi has often spoken of netball being the sport that changed her life, improved her confidence as a teenager and reinforced her belief of the importance and significance of women in society.
Msomi started playing the sport as a 16-year-old and said that had it not been for netball her story, like so many teen girls in South Africa, could have been very different.
The Proteas captain said playing at home to packed arenas, with the sport enjoying mass media coverage during the series against Australia, New Zealand and England, was unlike anything she had previously experienced in South Africa.
“The feeling of being introduced as representing South Africa is overwhelming. I have always been amazed by how we can come together as a country with different cultures, ideas, challenges and backgrounds, and have one passion and goal as a team,” Msomi said.
“It was massive for the players to see the support and interest. Our performances lifted and we showed our ability to be competitive against the very best teams. To have the chance to host the world’s best teams in South Africa would simply be huge.’
Head coach Norma Plummer said: “There was a time not too long ago when the Proteas were losing to the best teams by 30. Now it’s a five score differential and in some matches even less. It is getting closer and the more we play the best teams in full arenas (in South Africa) the better we will get,” said former Australian coach Plummer, one of the best coaches in the world.
* Proteas defender Karla Mostert, who has already made a mark in England, was the first South African to play in the Australian league, considered the best in the world. Mostert won the MVP in the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final playing for the Sunshine Coast Lightning.