In yet another win for women’s sport around Cape Town and the African continent as a whole, the City of Cape Town has announced that it will be partnering with Netball SA to host the 2021 netball continental test series, also known as the 2021 SPAR Challenge.
The competition will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and will host the majority of the continental test series matches between Africa’s top-ranked netball teams from next week.
“Having recently been voted as the World’s Leading Festival and Event Destination for 2020 and the home of netball ahead of the 2023 Netball World Cup, Cape Town is the ideal place to host this tournament and demonstrate the capabilities that have earned our city this accolade,” said Executive Mayor Alderman Dan Plato.
A few of the heavy hitters that will be taking part in the competition include Namibia, Uganda, and of course South Africa, also known as the SPAR Proteas. The Proteas, currently ranked fifth in the world, will play seventh place Uganda, the third-best netball nation in Africa.
The Namibian national team, which recently moved up seven places to 23 in the world rankings, will also participate in the tournament, as well as the Proteas under-21 team and the SA President’s XII.
This will be one of the first continental sporting events to take place on our shores since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as such, it will be hosted under strict health and safety regulations. The event will be held in a ‘biologically safe’ environment (bio bubble) in the CTICC precinct. All teams, including technical teams, umpires, support staff, media and local organising committee members will be tested prior to entering the bubble.
‘This is a crucial tournament for the Netball World Cup board, the CTICC and the City of Cape Town as we get closer to the 2023 World Cup to show the global stage that we can host major events in a safe environment, despite the pandemic,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
The 2021 SPAR Challenge will run from March 25 – 31, 2021. In keeping with safety protocols, spectators will not be allowed to attend the event. However, all the matches will be aired live on SuperSport Variety 4, according to Netball South Africa.
A squad of 27 players will be assembling in Stellenbosch for trials this week before the start of the 2021 SPAR…