Speech of the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), on the occasion of the Media Briefing and the and launch of the Netball Diamond Challenge, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, Gauteng Province
12 Jul 2012
The Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Honourable Mr Gert Oosthuizen;
The President of SASCOC: Mr Gideon Sam
CEO of SASCOC Mr Tubby Reddy
Executive member of Netball Africa and IFNA: Ms Joan Smith
President of Netball SA Ms Mimi Mthethwa and your executive
The Proteas Team
A special welcome to the Embassies of the participating countries, Malawi, Botswana and Tanzania
The Media and Friends;
Today is a very special day in our sporting sector. It marks the beginning of a process to develop women’s sport and Netball in particular and take it to new heights.
We have noted that no women’s sport is professional in our country although women make up the majority of our population.
Netball is the most popular women’s sport played in South Africa and is easily organised in universities, schools, open spaces, court yards and any place possible. Currently Netball SA has 2 million registered netball players.
Together with Netball SA we have developed a strategy to deal with the sustainability and development of Netball in South Africa as we cannot continue to treat the most popular women’s sport as a marginalised and Cinderella sport. We cannot continue therefore, to marginalise our women.
We have agreed to increase the profile of Netball and to make it more attractive and marketable we must support Netball SA to organise well run international tournaments.
As stated in my budget speech, the Proteas Team who are all here today continue to perform beyond our expectations notwithstanding the fact that we have many challenges, such as a shortage of sponsorship and basically being part time players. We are informed that when they need to prepare for an international game there participation in such a game will depend on whether they receive leave from their employers.
Their main rivals that being Australia and New Zealand have fully functional professional leagues with full time professional players. We are proud of your achievements and we have resolved to change this around so that when we bid for the Netball World Cup and host it in 2019 we will be able to be number one in the world.
The quad series between SA, Malawi, Tanzania and Botswana is therefore the catalyst for integrated strategy to improve netball in South Africa. We believe that this tournament being held in Women’s Month will have far reaching consequences and will put netball on the firmly on the map and ready for the private sector to support it.
Beyond Netball the tournament must also serve as a platform to raise women’s issues and celebrate the role of women in sport and our society.
This being an international tournament it must foster and strengthen ties and co-operation between the participating countries. We must strengthen the bond that has been developed between us over many decades in our fights against colonialism.
Today we are here to formally announce the Netball Diamond league Challenge and I am deliberately not speaking in detail of the rest of the strategy suffice to say that netball will be undergoing a major change in South Africa and we will soon announce further plans to make it fully professional by launching the National Netball Professional League. Currently Netball SA is consulting with its structures and the details will be released soon.
I want to again make an appeal to the private sector to seriously consider getting involve in Netball; as an investment in netball is an invest in women and our country.
I want to thank particularly the representative of SASCOC, representative of the different participating countries, the representative of Netball Africa and the Proteas team for gracing this media launch with their presence.
Finally let me congratulate the Proteas team for their historic victory over the highly placed Jamaican team recently and hope that this victory will inspire you to take on more battles ahead.
I now want to call on the President of Netball and the President of SASCOC to join me on stage.
(Drumming will commence)
It now gives us great pleasure to unveil the new logo for the Netball Diamond Challenge to be held from 11 to 18 August in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
12 Jul 2012
[ Top ]