The Spar Proteas continued their dominance of continental netball when they trashed the Zimbabwean national team 73-44 to win the Diamond Challenge netball tournament title for the second year at Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex in Seshego on Saturday.
The South African Netball team dominated the tournament from start eliminating Botswana, Zambia and Namibia along the way.
The squad used the tournament to prepare for the 2019 Netball Quad Series that will be played in England in January 2019 against the Australia Diamonds, England Roses and New Zealand Silver Ferns.
Team captain Bongiwe Msomi was named Overall Player of the Tournament and she afterwards said she was glad to have had a hand in the team’s victory. “We worked well as a team, we gave our all during the challenge and we are ready for next year’s competitions,” Msomi said.
President of Netball South Africa, Cecilia Molokwane, thanked the people of the province for being good hosts. “We want to thank the teams for responding to our invite. Normally, only four nations are eligible to play in this tournament but we had more than that with the likes of Lesotho and Swaziland who wanted to participate while we could not accommodate them. I must emphasise that the people of the province were amazing during the challenge as they welcomed the teams and their supporters with open arms. It was a good tournament and the province has proven once again its ability of hosting world class events,” Molokwane said.
She also thanked the role players and stakeholders for ensuring that the tournament is a success. “I would also want to thank all the netball associations in the province, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Polokwane Municipality and Capricorn District Municipality for ensuring that the challenge turned out a success. They played a huge role in that,” she concluded.
Story and photos: Herbert Rachuene