Tournament gets under way

The international tournament in men’s and mixed netball got under way on Monday (October 6) in South Africa between teams from Australia, Kenya and the host nation.

Teams between Australia and South Africa are competing in three divisions -– Men’s Open, Mixed Open and Men’s 23 & Under –- while Kenya will play in the Men’s Open and Mixed.

The tournament is being played in a round-robin format with the finals at the end of the week.

The competition is being staged in Rustenberg, about 50 kilometres southeast of Sun City and some 110 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg. The competing teams are based at Sun City.

Australia has the biggest contingent at the tournament, with two teams in each division in the 80-strong playing group. Australia has also sent umpires and trainers.

President of the Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Association, Grant Crocker, says the strong Australian contingent reflects the healthy state of men’s and mixed netball in Australia.

“The strong showing by teams at the national titles in April and last year’s trans-Tasman tournament in New Zealand has left us confident of doing well at the inaugural South African tournament.

“Australia played South Africa in Queensland two years ago, so it will be interesting to see how much South Africa has improved since their first international experience.”

Tournament organiser and project manager of Sevens Sports South Africa, Manny Ferrira, says it is an exciting time in men’s and mixed netball.

“It is an important step in developing the sport in South Africa, especially younger players.”

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