Netball development in the Mkhondo Local Municipality has been taken to the next stage with the recent launch of the Mkhondo Netball League playing for the first time in more than five (5) years. The league was launched on Saturday 29 May 2021 at Nohhemu Sport Grounds, Ngema Trust about 30km outside the Mkhondo CBD.
A total of 12 teams including a male team forms part of the newly established netball league. Eight (8) teams participated at the opening day at Nohhemu Sports Ground, kwaNgema. It was refreshing and beautiful to watch netball action at rural kwaNgema and the girls were extremely excited to play in a competitive setting with stunning rural fresh air. The league organisers said the league is here to stay and will be played on a rotational basis around Mkhondo.
The Mkhondo Netball League was launched by the recently revived and hardworking Mkhondo Netball Association led by Mr Sibonelo Mkhwanazi assisted by seasoned netball players Miss Sphiwe Majara playing the role of Secretary, Cindy Nxumalo of Troublemakers NC and other club coaches making up the association. It is ironic that the association chose to kick off the league at kwaNgema because this is the same venue that the association first attempted to start a netball league back in 2015. The association was then led by Mr Jabulani Mabuyakhulu who is currently coaching in the KZN Netball League. Mkhondo Netball League "The Return" will become the 2nd team sport after football to play in an organised and official manner in the Mkhondo Local Municipality.
“We need to play on regularly basis like every month in order to attract sponsors, not just to rely on writing letters asking for sponsorship. Our main problem will be transport which we pray that God can provide just for the league to take off."
The association has in recent times been working hard organising netball matches to build interest among young girls. They have been staging tournaments and friendly matches at Saul Mkhizeville, Amsterdam, Thandukukhanya and occasional visits to Ermelo, Newcastle and Pongolo. The association sent Miss Sphiwe Majara and Miss Cindy to coaching and umpiring workshops organized by Netball South Africa to learn coaching and umpiring skills. The leadership said they are yet to receive any sponsorship for the league but are hoping to attract local businesses in the future.
"Our focus now is to build the game by making sure there is enough teams participating in the league. We need to play on regularly basis like every month in order to attract sponsors, not just to rely on writing letters asking for sponsorship. Our main problem will be transport which we pray that God will provide just for the league to take off”, said Mr Mkhwanazi.
The area with the most teams is Saul Mkhizeville with Rockstar NC, Flying Angels NC and Mighty Stars NC. Others areas like Thandukukhanya, Amsterdam, Sulphur Springs and Iswepe have one or two teams involved in the league. Mkhondo Netball League is affiliated to the Gert Sibande Netball Association with two teams i.e. Rockstar & Mkhondo United taking part in the league. The next round of league matches will be played on 19 June 2021 at Lindelani Plying Courts, Saul Mkhizeville.