Building up to the 2023 Netball World Cup in South Africa, the Sophiatown Netball Championship shines a light on the need to restore school sports.
Gauteng premier, Panyaza Lesufi promised netball players from six schools in the greater Sophiatown area that they will be going to Cape Town for the Netball World Cup 2023, taking place from July 28 to August 6.
Initially, only the four best players were promised an all-expenses paid trip to the World Cup. But Lesufi’s pledge on Sunday, May 28 made the circle bigger, including players from all six teams that participated in the two day Sophiatown Netball Championship, at the Brixton Multipurpose Centre in Johannesburg. .
The schools that participated were Coronationville Secondary School, Riverlea High School, Hoerskool Die Burger, Florida Park High School, Langlaagte Technical High School and Westbury Secondary School.
The Sophiatown Netball championship is a community centred tournament hosted by member of parliament Nompendulo Mkhatshwa and chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Asanda Luwaca.
Westbury High School goal attack (GA), Kamohelo Nketsi described the championship “as a great opportunity to showcase their skills and talents especially because they come from an area that is undermined and underdeveloped”.
Florida Park High School was crowned the overall Sophiatown Netball Champions and walked away with a trophy after they played four times and beat three teams. Ntombizandile Ngwenya, who plays Florida Park’s Centre (C) won player of the tournament.
A netball clinic facilitated by the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Netball Academy and a career guidance session by Wits University were part of the developmental part of the tournament.
Mkhatshwa, said that they are “to raise awareness about the world cup and to resuscitate netball in schools by placing coaches from UJ in the schools and giving the schools netball equipment”. This work is part of her constituency work as a member of parliament.
Coach Makhosazane Sithole from Westbury High School told Wits Vuvuzela that “the championship is good for exposure because it shows the girls that netball can take them far and what netball can do for them outside Westbury”.
Mkhathswa added that drugs are a huge problem in the community, and sports can be used to keep youngsters off the streets.
The girls were full of excitement and shock some even started screaming “forever yena”, a pop culture reference for love and adoration while others cried after Lesufi made the announcement.
FEATURED IMAGE: Westbury Secondary School and Riverlea High School battle it out for a goal. Photo: Mbalenhle Dlamini
The All Res Sports Day brings students living at Wits University residences together, in a day of sweaty but friendly play.
The All Res Sun-Council (ARSC) hosted their annual sports day at Digs field, pitting residences against one other for a podium finish.
Barnato Hall, Noswal Hall, David Webster Hall, Wits Junction, Girton Hall, Sunnyside Hall, Jubilee Hall, Reith Hall, Amani, Braamfontein Centre Residence, Medhurst Hall, West Campus Village, Knockando Hall, Ernest Oppenheimer Hall (EOH) and Men’s Res took to the fields and courts to compete on May 13, 2023.
Sports such as netball, soccer, basketball, touch rugby, chess and indigenous games were played throughout the day.
ARSC media officer, Basetsane Sithole said “This year we are really excited to try make it as big as possible [by] involving sponsors such as Redbull; this is an event for us to get the reses back together again because we haven’t done anything like this since O-week [orientation week].”
Khethani Makhithi, Junction men’s soccer coach said, “Junction is not a well-established football team with a strong heritage like Knockendo which is known for its football prowess.”
Makhithi said even though the match against Knockando ended in a 1-1 draw, but won in penalties, he believes it was a tight game throughout.
Asemahle Mazamela, netball referee during a clash off between Wits Junction and Noswal said that the match went well besides the fact that “the other team [Wits Junction] only had 5 players but they tried,” which unfortunately led them to an early knockout.
Phenyo Leornard Moje, a player for Noswal netball team was injured in the first quarter of the final match against Barnato. He felt guilty for not being able to help his team in the first two quarters of the match. Despite not being fully healed, he decided to rejoin the game in third and fourth quarter of the match.
At the end of the sports day, the reses who came third, second and first place each received trophies and medals.
The first-place winners were:
EOH in touch rugby, men’s basketball
Barnato in netball, Barnato in women’s basketball and Barnato in women’s soccer
Braam Centre in men’s soccer
Men’s res in chess
Reith Hall in all the indigenous games
The spirit award was given to David Webster
The games all ended in high spirits as the winners celebrated and danced on the courts, Neliswa Mpangeni, one of the spectators from Noswal Hall said that she has been at Digs filed since 8 in the morning and enjoyed supporting her team who were participating in the different sports.
The sports day concluded with roaring cheers and jubilation. The reses showcased their skills and sportsmanship, plus made memories were made that would last a lifetime.
FEATURED IMAGE: EOH playing touch rugby against Men’s res Photo: Ayanda Mgwenya
JUBS KICKS BUTT: Jubs (blue) and Junction (green) fight it out ’til the finish with Jubs showing Junction how its done. Photo: Prelene Singh
JUBILEE Residence proved unbeatable in their game against Junction on Tuesday night in the second season of the Wits Internal Netball League (WINL) at Diggs Field.
Jubs thrashed Junction 28-4. Junction proved unmatched for their opposition team who were well practised for the game.
Jubs hit the floor running with aggressive defence and great airborne throws from the only male in the group. Jubs managed to basket nine goals in the first quarter, leaving Junction behind by eight goals.
Umpire Hitekani Makhabele, 2nd year BCom, had a tough job at hand keeping the Jubs players under control with their scoring spirits.
Whilst the ball spent the most time in the Jubs banding area, Makhabele blew the whistle for many centre passes.
By the end of the second quarter, Jubs proved a definite force to be reckoned with, with an imposing 14-goal lead over Junction.
Junction was lazy in defence and failed to take advantage of their passes. The players did not give accurate cues to one another and this proved detrimental to their whole game.
The third quarter started off well for Junction when they upped passing tactics and defence. They managed to basket two goals with Jubs only scoring one goal.
The pressure mounted in the last quarter with both teams improving their game with harder zone defence, paired with more direct attacks.
Both teams were grinding their hardest with Junction players screaming encouraging words (“Come on girls”) to up the momentum in a final push to the finish line.
This team spirit, while it was good, went down in flames when Jubs scored a further seven goals in the last quarter.
At the same time in the next court several other teams competed vigorously..
Lindiwe Radebe, vice chairperson for Wits Netball, said that if you want to be a part of the WINL all you need to do is get a team together and get registered to compete.
The WINL is in its second week of the second season.
The tournament features 12 teams including Barnato, David Webster, Jubilee, Sunnyside, Girton, Medhurst, Medics, Reith, Esselen, Braamfontein Centre and newcomers Madova.
Games are scheduled from 6pm every Tuesday during the season.
Esselen Trumps: Esselen goes for gold against Girton House
THE ESSELEN netball team’s fast-placed play proved too much for rivals Girton House, leaving them victorious 20-12 after their Tuesday match at Dig Field. The fast paced match left Girton struggling to keep up as Esselen dominated the first three quarters with a solid goal shooting team.Esselen members Palesa Choma and Nomfundo Koloi worked well together and used every opportunity to score goals. Their defence was also solid and managed to keep the Girton shooters at bay.
Goalkeeper Mpho Mokoena was a force to be reckoned with in the Girton shooting circle, often retrieving the ball before Girton could score.
Girton felt the pressure and were sloppy with their passes, often losing balls they should have used to their advantage. After a stern talking to from the coach, Girton’s defence appeared stronger in the third quarter. This kept Esselen on their toes with Girton goalkeeper Kwezi Katamzi becoming a formidable foe for Esselen goalshooter Nomfundo Koloi. While their defence was on point, Girton still had difficulty driving the game forward towards their goals.
The last quarter of the game intensified as both teams made efforts to win the match. Girton gave it their all and matched the Esselen pace. They made solid advances to their goal posts, scoring a couple of goals and giving Esselen a run for their money.As the pressure mounted Esselen started to panic and become careless with their passes. However, this they found their feet again, kept their defence strong and eventually came out victorious.
The Esselen and Girton match wereone of several played this week in the Wits internal netball league. Other teams that came out on top include Wits Junction with a 20-12 victory over Reith and Jubilee with a 27-8 victory over Barnato.
Mavoda suffered a crushing 2-43 defeat against Medics, the 2012 champions.
Braamfontein Centre and David Webster played a smooth game that left David Webster victorious 19-12. The match between Sunnyside and Medhurst was postponed.
The next round of the league continues on April 14 at 6pm on West Campus at the Dig Field.