The Department of Basic Education (DBE) and Multichoice have launched the DStv Schools Netball Challenge.
This is set to focus on young female athletes aged between 16 and 19 who play netball at high schools across South Africa.
On Tuesday, the Deputy Minister of the DBE, Reginah Mhlaule along with Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nocawe Noncedo Mafu attended the launch at Hoërskool Florida in Johannesburg.
“This extensive partnership will contribute immensely to the growth and development of girl learners while forming a critical component in the overall implementation of school sports programmes, particularly netball for young girl learners,” said Mhlaule.
The tournament will be contested across all nine provinces, involving secondary schools in rural and urban areas.
It aims to elevate South African Schools Netball (SASN) through increased exposure and greater support, which will be crucial in the lead-up to the 2023 Netball World Cup, hosted in Cape Town.
“We are excited about this initiative taken by MultiChoice and Netball SA of ensuring that ahead of the 2023 Netball World Cup, we are indeed able to take South African Schools Netball to a whole new level, by creating a “Big-Event National Championship” which will assist in identifying the netball talent of tomorrow,” said Mafu.
Mafu said when SA won the rights to host the Netball World Cup back in 2019, as the Government they looked forward to living a legacy that will benefit a girl child and take netball as a sport to another level.
The DStv Schools Netball Challenge kicks off this month with local inter-school leagues that will progress to district playoffs and then to regional, where teams will play in two separate streams to allow all teams an equal chance of reaching the finals.
“MultiChoice is extending its support of schools sport, following the launch of SuperSport Schools last month. Our focus is to develop raw talent through real action and contribute to the building of long-lasting sports careers,” said MultiChoice Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Joe Heshu.
Heshu said they are proud of the impact sports development programmes have had on the country’s future soccer and rugby sports stars, and they look forward to uplifting local netball stars.