A total of ten (10) teams will participate in the first ever Easter Netball tournament when they play the Saul Mkhizeville Netball Cup set to take place on Easter Monday 22 April 2019 at Lindelani Playing Courts at Saul Mkhizeville. They will play at the newly built Lindelani Playing Courts in rural Saul Mkhizeville about 45km outside of the Mkhondo CBD.
The playing courts will be hosting the Saul Mkhizeville Netball Cup tournament for the first time since they were handed over to the community by the Mkhondo Local Municipality executive mayor Hon. Cllr. Vusi Motha in October last year. The meeting and draw was done on Wednesday 27 March 2019 at the offices of Mkhondo Local Municipality in Kempville soon after the conclusion of the Mkhondo Netball Cup last month. Ten clubs were represented at the draw including two new teams which were not part of the Mkhondo Netball Club which played last month at the recently renovated Thokozani Playing Courts in Thandukukhanya. The teams will form two groups of five teams per group with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals.
The construction of the playing courts are a huge blessing to netball teams as they will contribute to the development of the sport. Mr Sbonelo Mkhwanazi of Rockstar NC is also playing a huge role in the revival of the sport. He is in charge of two teams Rockstar NC and a development side Young Rockstar. He managed to convince Trollope Mining Services to lend a hand by sponsoring the tournament. “The tournament is sponsored by Trollope Mining Services which is doing mining in the area of Saul Mkhizeville. The sponsorship deal may be extended to league sponsorship if everything goes well in this tournament,” he said. The teams will have to play at different venues because there is only one court for netball, the other court is suitable for tennis. The other group matches will therefore play at Malibongwe Playing courts which is 2km away from Lindelani. The finals will be held at Lindelani Playing Courts.
“The tournament is sponsored by Trollope Mining Services which is doing mining in the area of Saul Mkhizeville. The sponsorship deal may be extended to league sponsorship if everything goes well in this tournament,”
This tournament will include two new teams that were not involved in Mkhondo Netball Cup last month. They are Bushman Band NC from Iswepe and Philasiphile NC from Wildrand both rural areas in Mkhondo. The other teams include champions of the first ever Mkhondo Netball Cup Troublemaker NC and the runners up Hostell NC who have changed their name to Mkhondo Development NC under the guidance of Mr Sabelo Nkosi. Eagles NC from Phola Park finished in 3rd place and will look to do better than the previous tournament under Mr Mlipha. Local side Rockstar NC will hope to do better playing at home than the position 4 finish in the previous tournament. Their development team Young Rockstar will also be taking part. Super Falcons NC coached by Mr Jabulani Mabuyakhulu missed the previous tournament but have promised to bring in a team to take part in this competition. The tournament has only two women coaches whose teams will be participating. They are Miss Sindisiwe Mlambo of Fire Angels NC based at Saul Mkhizeville and former player and qualified umpire Alicia Nontokozo in charge of Young Birds NC from Amsterdam. There will be prizes for the teams that manage to reach top three. They will win themselves brand new playing attire and medallion. The champions will be the biggest winner with a full kit, a trophy and gold medals.
Interest in the sport of netball has been rekindled among local girls since the announcement that the city of Cape Town will be hosting the Netball World Cup in 2023. The effect has also been seen in nearby KwaZulu Natal province where they have just launched the KZN Super League with female and male netball teams. The netball clubs in Mkhondo are not far behind, they have also caught the netball fever having already played one tournament since the year began, a huge improvement compared to the previous years. The struggle has been real in this code where only one tournament played in the whole of last year after a great initiative by Skholiwe Mdletshe to introduce Girl Got Game Tournament in December last year. It also expected that this year’s Netball World Cup to be played in New Zealand in July will also boost the image of the sport and win new fans over.