The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) marked the 100-day countdown to the start of the Netball World Cup 2023 by handing over a newly constructed netball court to the residents of the West Coast town of Hopefield on Tuesday, 18 April 2023.
The Netball World Cup will be hosted on the African continent for the first time in history, with all games set to be played at the Cape Town International Convention Centre during July and August.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, delivered the keynote address at Tuesday’s celebration. “It is wonderful to be part of this exciting event as we countdown to the Netball World Cup and as we ensure that we leave a legacy for communities who want to play netball for many years to come. Netball is a sport that is widely played across our province and we have produced many exciting players over the years. It is only appropriate that we can now proudly showcase our world class facilities and welcome netball teams from all over the world to see our beautiful province,” she said.
“We want to ensure that girls and women across the province have access to the opportunity to play netball. Playing team sports brings opportunities for connection, for women to come together and find a community within a safe space. It is a space where women can not only play the game together but where they can find a space of physical and mental wellbeing, as well as finding support in those around them. Netball as a sport is also important for young girls as it teaches important life skills such as working as part of a team, strategizing and planning ahead. In handing over these netball courts, we hope that they will bring opportunities for participation in sport in order to promote a healthy lifestyle but also to provide a safe space for our youth.” Minister Marais continued.
So far, 22 of 48 planned legacy courts have been handed over across the Western Cape. Minister Marais also announced that viewing centres would be created in municipalities across the province to allow residents outside of Cape Town to view the matches live.
“Our department is working with various municipalities across the province to ensure there will be viewing centres for communities who are not able to attend the matches in person. While the tournament is being played in the Cape Town city centre, we want the whole province to get excited and support the Proteas in their bid to win their first world cup trophy,” Minister Marais said.
“I would like to thank the Saldanha Bay Municipality for supporting this event today and for helping us build the excitement for this tournament. Your partnership is crucial in ensuring that we can include the whole of the province in our build-up and we thank you for being part of this.”
“I want to encourage the local community to use these netball courts and to help us by taking ownership of them and helping us to protect them. These facilities are here for you to use and to enjoy and we would like them to still be used by many generations in future.”
DCAS will continue to support the promotion of netball across the province, while also building up to the World Cup event.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Western Cape Government: Department of the Premier.