SA squad

CityPress - - Sport - REABETSWE MASHIGO sports@city­press.co.za

The much-an­tic­i­pated Di­a­mond Chal­lenge net­ball tour­na­ment is back – af­ter it was canned last year.

The event did not take place due to a lack of fi­nan­cial back­ing. How­ever, this year, the KwaZu­luNatal depart­ment of sport and recre­ation came to the res­cue of Net­ball SA (NSA) through a part­ner­ship that will fi­nance the tour­na­ment. The part­ner­ship will also as­sist the NSA with devel­op­ment pro­grammes in KwaZulu-Natal.

The tour­na­ment will be hosted at the Ugu Sports Cen­tre in Mar­gate on the south coast. This year’s event will be ded­i­cated to vic­tims of the xeno­pho­bic vi­o­lence that broke out ear­lier this year, with the hope that it will pro­mote peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. The tour­na­ment runs from Tues­day to Fri­day. Cham­pi­ons South Africa will join Malawi, Uganda and Zam­bia. The Spar Proteas, who have been the un­de­feated cham­pi­ons for two con­sec­u­tive years, will be look­ing to re­tain their ti­tle.

NSA CEO Blanche de la Guerre told City Press fans should ex­pect some fire­works at the Di­a­mond Chal­lenge.

“Uganda is an un­der­dog and might cause a huge sur­prise. Malawi will play their best net­ball to show South Africa they de­serve their po­si­tion as fifth in the world. Zam­bia have trained hard and we are look­ing for­ward to Maryka Holtzhausen (Cap­tain), Lindie Lom­bard, El­sunet du Plessis, Phumza Maweni, Bongi Msomi (Vice-cap­tain), Pre­cious Mthembu, Melissa My­burgh, Adéle Nie­mand, Lenize Pot­gi­eter, Izette Lubbe, Sha­dine van der Merwe, Karla Mostert, Zukelwa Cwaba and Nokubonga Sibiya

PHOTO: REG CALDE­COTT / GALLO IMAGES PHOTO: WERNER HILLS / PHOTO24

HEADS UP Malawi

Thuli Qegu from SA (left) and Brid­get Kumwenda of READY Karla Mostert is mak­ing a name in net­ball

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