Netball League to take place in a bio-bubble in Bloemfontein next month

Captains of the teams that will be taking part in the Telkom Netball League in Bloemfontein next month pose for a photo at the launch of the tournament in Johannesburg on Monday.
Captains of the teams that will be taking part in the Telkom Netball League in Bloemfontein next month pose for a photo at the launch of the tournament in Johannesburg on Monday.
Image: Netball South Africa

The eagerly anticipated 2020 edition of the Telkom Netball League will take place in a bio-bubble at the Mangaung Indoor Sports Complex in Bloemfontein from 14 to 27 October.

The twelve participating teams will enter the bio-bubble on October 8 to start preparations under strict health protocols and organisers also confirmed that spectators will not be allowed to watch matches.

The popular tournament was initially planned for May but plans were thrown into disarray by the outbreak of Covid-19 that brought the world to a near standstill for almost five months.

It was also announced during the launch of the tournament that sponsors Telkom‚ who came on board in 2019‚ have extended their relationship with Netball South Africa (NSA) by a further three years.

“We are grateful for partners like Telkom who believe in our vision of turning the sport professional‚” said NSA president Cecilia Molokwane.

“Their partnership with us is the steppingstone we need in ensuring that we work towards bringing this vision to life.

"We hope that this relationship will continue to yield the desired results and grow from strength to strength.”

The tournament would have been played over a six-week period and across three provinces but due to lockdown and travel restrictions‚ it will now be hosted in one location and played over two weeks.

NSA also unveiled two new teams that will be participating at this year’s competition in the form of the Tornadoes from the Western Cape and the Kingdom Queens from KZN.

“As we have been talking over the years that we want to see the sport grow‚ this is one way of doing that.

"The decision to have two more teams comes as no surprise because if you look at the Western Cape‚ they have appeared at almost every single final of the tournament‚ KZN is our biggest province and we therefore decided to make sure that we start there‚” added Molokwane.

The U21 national team will play some exhibition matches at the tournament under the guidance of head coach Dr Elsje Jordaan to get game time after their Africa qualifiers for the 2021 Netball World Youth Cup in Fiji were cancelled.

It was also announced that all the teams‚ umpires‚ technical officials and ball girls will be dressed by technical sponsors Puma.

“Puma‚ as technical sponsor‚ is proud to be associated with Netball South Africa and congratulates the team for pulling out all the stops to ensure the Telkom Netball League tournament goes ahead during such challenging times‚” said Puma South Africa Marketing Director Brett Bellinger.

“Our partnership with Netball South Africa over the past year has been rooted on both Telkom and Netball SA’s desire to empower women in the sport.

"We sought to partake in a mission to help women realise their potential and the skills they have on the field.

"It is the skills on display in the Telkom Netball League that inspire them to do better and to reach higher.” said Gugu Mthembu‚ Executive: Brand and Product Segments at Telkom.

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