Netball has rightfully claimed the number two (2) spot as the 2nd most played sport in the Mkhondo Local Municipality area jurisdiction. This was evidenced at the Mkhondo Netball League championship finale held at Thokozani Sport Centre, Thandukukhanya on Saturday 9 October 2021.
The netball governing body Mkhondo Netball Association made history with the record number of teams and matches that played in their 2021 calendar year. Apart from the occasional tournaments during the year, a total of 25 teams participated in the first ever Mkhondo Netball League which began at kwaNgema Trust, Mkhondo in May this year. The perseverance by members of the Mkhondo Netball Association paid off in a manner they themselves did not see coming. The league was launched with 10 teams but interest from other teams quickly grew the number of teams to 25. This led the association restart the league and introduce streams. Teams were divided into three streams/groups (A, B&C). The league matches were played at different venues including Lindelani Playing Courts at Saul Mkhizeville; Emoyeni Stadium, Amsterdam; Nohhemu Sport Grounds, Ngema Trust and at Thokozani Sport Centre in Thandukukhanya.
Rockstars Netball Club won the Stream ‘A’ championship which was made of the strongest teams including three male teams playing exhibition matches in the same group as the ladies. The champions defeated Black Mountain NC in the battle for first place while the 3rs place position was occupied by Commondale NC finished at 3rd place. At Stream B Troublemakers from Iswepe were crowned champions with 3rd place going to Libhaba NC from Commondale. The stream (C) containing the future of Mkhondo netball was won by DP Young Stars NC from Ajax. The runners up Real Stars NC also came from Ajax. The 3rd place position was occupied by the Commondale B team.
“As long as you continue playing beautiful like this the municipality will support all your activities,”
The prize giving was held immediately after the final matches. The office of executive Mayor of Mkhondo Hon. Cllr. Vusi Motha supported the games by providing the prizes which included playing attire, match balls, training equipment, trophies and medals.
The three male teams (Mkhondo, Libhaba & Commondale) played a supporting role at Stream A but were not included in the prize ceremony since they are still at development stage according to the organisers.
The association through the Chairperson Mr Sibonelo Shiba said they hope to have more male teams when the league resumes again next year. “We want to build on the success of our 2021 season and improve where we lack especially the male teams. We want to spread the netball league to faraway places of Mkhondo. Our challenge will be transport costs but we hope that other stakeholders will join the municipality to sponsor the league,” he said.