Mitchell’s Plain netball enthusiasts brought the gees to the unveiling of a mural as a run up to the 2023 Netball World Cup.
Players, coaches, referees, administrators and government officials gathered at Stephen Reagan Sport Complex, in Westridge, on Wednesday March 22.
This is the second mural for Mitchell’s Plain and the eighth in the series of Netball World Cup legacy murals that the City of Cape Town is unveiling ahead of the quadrennial tournament in July.
They also met official Netball World Cup mascot Letsatsi.
Players from Cornflower Primary School, Meadowridge, and Portland High School were present. The two primary schools played a demo game.
Coach and teacher Ruwayda Brooks, from Cornflower Primary School, said they used netball as a tool to teach pupils life skills.
“We try to impart respect and the three d’s discipline, determination and dedication to always strive for their dreams,” she said.
Player captain Sarah Alexander, from Cornflower, said: “I love netball. It is a passion”.
She said that everything she needed to make a success of netball was available in Mitchell’s Plain.
In 2021 the sports complex received a R1 million facelift, including improvements to the changing rooms and toilets, could result in the facility becoming a suitable location for international teams to play practice games in preparation for the world cup (“Sports complex nets upgrade”, Plainsman March 17, 2021).
Last week Mitchell’s Plain Netball Union chairman Igshaan Brenner and public relations officer for Cape Town Netball Federation, said that the participating international teams may only play indoors and on sprung wooden floors but that they may visit the facility.
He said the upgrade, lighting and the maintenance of the facility was brought about by then ward councillor Eddie Andrews, deputy mayor, and a dedicated facility management committee (FMC).
“This facility is being used all day every Saturday and in the evening during the week day evenings because we have the lights,” he said.
Mr Brenner said it was up to the community to look after the facility and “not to vandalise it”.
“Not just Mitchell’s Plain is using the facility, those on the outskirts too, like Khayelitsha, Manenberg, Hanover Park, Philippi and Bonteheuwel,” he said.
Rhynhardt Bresler, councillor deputy chairman of City of Cape Town’s safety and security portfolio committee, likened the bid to host the world cup to a growing snowball, which should impact local communities.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said various local and provincial government departments, including recreation and parks department had invested in play surfaces and facilities to leave a legacy for local clubs where they could develop talent.
“It is the first netball world cup in Africa and we should claim it on home soil. Make it your world cup,” he said.
The artwork was created by Mitchell’s Plain born artist Maxwell Southgate, known as MAK10NE, in collaboration with another local artist Dfeat Once, which pays homage to the local netball community.
“It is also fitting that we are bringing the Netball World Cup spirit to the Stephen Reagan Sport Complex because this is the home of the Mitchell’s Plain Netball Union and the facility hosts clubs from the largest sub-district in the Cape.
“The players who call this place home are the intended beneficiaries of the Netball World Cup and we hope this can inspire them,” said Mr Smith.
The 12.5m by 4m painting is adorned in the colours of this year’s tournament with imagery showcasing netball, Cape Town and women upliftment.