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