Netball enthusiasts from across the globe will, in 2023, descend on the Mother City for the 16th edition of the Netball World Cup tournament.
This comes after South Africa, on Thursday (07 March), won the bid to host the tournament with Cape Town as the hosting city.
The International Netball Federation (INF) made the announcement in a statement on Thursday afternoon. This will be the first time for the tournament to be staged on African soil since its inauguration in 1963.
INF President, Molly Rhone, said of the two bids for the 2023 edition, the INF Board opted for SA as this would have a greater impact on the sport on the African continent as a whole.
“On behalf of the Board of the International Netball Federation, I am delighted to announce that Netball South Africa has been awarded the rights to host the 2023 Netball World Cup. We were delighted to receive two exceptional bids and the INF Board was satisfied that both Netball New Zealand and Netball South Africa would be capable of hosting a successful and thrilling NWC2023.
“The INF Board decided that the significant investment that the South African Government and Western Cape were prepared to make over the next four years in netball facilities and coaching programmes in South Africa, the African continent and beyond would deliver a greater impact on the development of global netball,” Rhone explained.
She further added that netball was growing in popularity across the world as well as on the African continent. Three countries, SA, ranked fifth, Malawi, sixth and Uganda ranked seventh, are in the INF World Top 10 while Zimbabwe and Zambia are ranked 13th and 16th respectively.
“It is an exciting time for netball right now. Our sport is growing in popularity at an unprecedented rate throughout the world. There is increasing competitiveness between the top nations and now three teams from Africa feature in the top 10 of the INF World Rankings. We look forward to working with the Organising Committee to bring the INF’s most important event to South Africa in 2023.”
The tournament will be staged at the Cape Town’s International Convention Centre.
The tournament is expected to pump R2.5 billion into the Western Cape economy creating hundreds of jobs in the process.
Netball South Africa president, Cecilia Molokwane, expressed gratitude to the Western Cape government as well as the City of Cape Town and all those who were involved in the bidding process for making sure that the tournament came to Africa for the first time.
The Netball World Cup was inaugurated in 1963 and known as the World Netball Championships until 2011 when the name changed. It has been dominated by Australia and New Zealand with Trinidad and Tobago as the only other country to have won the tournament. The last edition, staged in Sydney, Australia in 2015, was won by the host nation.