The annual SPAR Madibaz netball tournament set a new record of 80 teams when the popular event was held at the south campus in Port Elizabeth over the weekend.
A total of 800 players competed in the two-day event and Madibaz Sport netball manager Melinda Goosen said the opportunity to play indoors and the activities created around the occasion had contributed to its increasing popularity.
“Word of mouth of each year’s success makes new teams want to join and it shows the popularity of the sport in the Eastern Cape,” she said.
“Firstly, it gives coaches the opportunity to test their teams’ abilities as they prepare for upcoming leagues.
“Secondly, those attending, get an idea of what it is to be part of the Madibaz netball set-up, providing them with an incentive to join us when they leave school.”
Goosen added that the backing of SPAR Eastern Cape was essential to the staging of the tournament, where there is great exposure for a wide range of players and two fun-filled days for the whole family.
The matches underlined the strength of netball at Madibaz, with their teams winning most of the sections.
The only sections university teams did not win were the B and men’s divisions, in which they did not field teams. They were won by Devitels (men) and Phoenix (B section).
“Madibaz netball is in a great space, having had a magic season in 2018, which provided a solid base for 2019,” said Goosen.
“We have lost some senior players, but we have enormous talent coming through in the first-year students.
“In addition we have great coaches and structures in place to support these players to take them to the next level.”