Street netball hit the tarmac in various neighbourhoods in the metro with a series of games scheduled to take place every Friday leading up to the Netball World Cup, which will take place in Cape Town later this year.
Several school teams from Grassy Park, Elsies River, Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Langa, Mfuleni, Ocean View and Nomzamo will be involved in the league competition, which will culminate in Fan Parks as part of the exciting line-up of events planned for the opening day of the World Cup on Friday July 28 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Sixteen school teams will be competing in an adapted 5-a-side version of the conventional game with weekly matches being played for the next eight weeks. This will be followed by the regional finals set to take place on Youth Day, Friday June 16.
The programme has been endorsed by the Cape Town Netball Federation and is co-ordinated and managed by Sporting Chance, a youth sports development organisation based in Cape Town. The initiative is supported by the City of Cape Town and Sunbet Cares and involves more than 700 girls in the under-13 age group.
Patricia van der Ross, Mayco member for community services and health for the City of Cape Town, said at the opening of the first round of fixtures that although these events can be viewed as a build-up to the netball tournament the programme must leave a lasting effect on the kids.
“Ultimately, we want the children to express themselves and explore the opportunities that come with playing sport while we want to leave a legacy by building relationships with schools and communities where we hope to achieve great things in the future.
“We also want to build confidence in these young girls and make sure that they reach their dreams,” said Van der Ross.
Emthonjeni Counselling and Training, a self-funded organisation that serves mostly young women in the community, have also been roped in as partners. They will be working with the participating children to equip them with essential life skills and empowerment knowledge to help them plan for their futures.
The games will take place every Friday, starting from 1pm onwards. Times could, however, differ from area to area.
It will be played at the following venues: Grassy Park, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Old Strandfontein Road; Khayelitsha in Ntwana Street; Mfuleni in Government Street (Bardale); Ocean View in Pollux Way’ Mitchell’s Plain at Stephen Reagon sports complex in Westridge; Strand at the Lwandle sports complex; Langa in Bitterhout Street and Elsies River in May Street.