NETBALL: School teams shoot through to 2023 World Cup  

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.  

Sophiatown Netball Championship volunteer teams trying to save the ball. Photo: Mbalenhle Dlamini

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


Rugby world cup: what to expect

Tonight is the opening of the highly anticipated world cup, with the Boks playing their first match tomorrow, are armed with the right details?

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: The Webb Ellis Cup sits on the pitch during the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Schedule Annoucement held at Twickenham Stadium on May 2, 2013 in London, England. The 13 Match Venues and Host Cities selected are: Twickenham Stadium (London), Wembley Stadium (London), Olympic Stadium (London), Millennium Stadium (Cardiff), Manchester City Stadium (Manchester), St James Park (Newcastle), Elland Road (Leeds), Leicester City Stadium (Leicester), Villa Park (Birmingham), Kingsholm Stadium (Gloucester), stadiummk (Milton Keynes), Brighton Community Stadium (Brighton) and Sandy Park (Exeter). (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images for IRB)

 The world awaits: The rugby world cup will kick off in London tonight, with Twickenham stadium the stage for opening game. Photo: David Rogers.

The 2015 Rugby world cup will kick off tonight, when hosts England will face Fiji at 21:00.

The opening ceremony will start at 20:00 and will tell the story of the sport’s birth. Expected to be included is the story of William Webb Ellis, who in 1823 picked up a football and started running with it and is often credited as the creator of the sport.

Today the world cup’s trophy is named the Webb Ellis Cup. The show is expected to last 20 minutes and will end 40 minutes before the first match will kick off.

South Africa will play their first game tomorrow against Japan. All South Africa’s pool games are scheduled to take place at 17:45 making it convenient for most of us to catch the game.

Also joining us in Pool B will be Samoa, USA and Scotland. Most predictions point to us progressing from the group stages. But the problem starts after that. With their being a very good chance that we will be facing either hosts England or Australia in the quarter-finals, or perhaps even New-Zealand in the semi-finals.

If this is the case many believe the finals might be too predictable an outcome with all the tension placed in the previous rounds.

The obvious teams to keep an eye on are Australia and England in Pool A, New-Zealand, Argentina, France.

This will be the 4th World Cup for veteran Boks Schalk Burger and Victor Matfield. It was clear at their welcoming event, last Sunday, that the team have supporters backing them in England. More than a hundred people were stranded when the venue in Eastbourne reached full capacity, as crowds fill the stadium to cheer on the Boks.


SCIENCE INSIDE: I don’t like cricket, I love it!

We’re one week into the cricket world cup and today’s show looks at the science behind the sport. Experts and cricketers explain how the speed of the ball effects the game, what lucid dreaming can do to improve a batsman and all about the size, shape and make of cricket gear.

Finally, Michael Stevens from Jumping Kids and Dr Mariette Conning from the CSIR talk about how to build a prosthetic limb for a child cricket star.

The Science Inside, the show that goes inside the science of major news events, is produced by Paul McNally, Anina Mumm, DJ Keyez and Lutfiyah Suliman for The Wits Radio Academy. Tune in live to VowFM every Monday at 6pm.

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Witsies passionate about the World Cup despite the absence of Bafana Bafana


World Cup mascot Fuleko will become a familiar sight in the coming weeks of the tournament. Graphic: FIFA

NEW KID IN TOWN: World Cup mascot Fuleco will become a familiar sight in the coming weeks of the tournament which starts tonight. Graphic: FIFA

Tonight, the one of the world’s biggest sporting showcases kicks off in Brazil. The 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony will launch football’s biggest international spectacle and despite the absence of South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, Witsies are still looking forward to the month-long tournament.

“I am really excited about the World Cup.  We wait four years to witness the best players competing against each other.  A part of me is sad that South Africa won’t be participating in this World Cup,” said Phelelani Mpanza, Masters Business Sciences.

“I see Spain defending this one.  They play really good football, but as an African, I will be supporting Ghana.  BaGhana BaChana!”, added Mpanza.

“I think this is probably going to be one of the most competitive World Cups ever, which makes it highly unpredictable.  But I think Brazil might take it this time around,” said Lloyd Uta, Masters Business Sciences, Marketing.  

Some Witsies pledged their allegiance to African teams. “I’m supporting Ghana because it’s the closest one to home and they play good soccer,” said Pretty Makgabo, final year BAccSci.

Makgabo was excited about watching her favourite players, “I am  looking forward to seeing Boateng, Gyan and Essien on the field.”

Makgabo is also looking forward to the opening ceremony, “I love those,” she said.

The European teams have a number of Witsies behind them.  “I’m with Germany.  I think Brazil is a cliche.  I think Germany deserves to take it this time, Brazil has taken it too many times so personally I now have Brazil fatigue,” said Tinashe Chuchu, Masters Business Sciences.

Obakeng Motshome, final year BAccSci, is also keen on Germany.  “I like their style of football.  They really play to the whistle, they’ll keep scoring until the referee blows the final whistle.”  Motshome expects an all-European final between Spain and Germany.  “It would also be great to have the first European team to win the World Cup in South America,” he said.

Some Witsies were spoilt for choice.  “I’m supporting Brazil, Germany, Portugal and Netherlands in that order,” said Hitekani Makhubele, final year BCom.

Makhubele holds a soft spot for Brazil as she says, “I got introduced to football in 2002, when I was 11 years old. And Brazil was wearing yellow which is my favourite colour.”  She has been loyal to them since, “through two more World Cups and everything in between. I am expecting home ground advantage to make them go super saiyan… loyalties will be tested but Brazil to the end,” she said.

The opening ceremony will be televised later this evening with the first match between hosts Brazil and Croatia starting at 10pm, local time.



SCIENCE INSIDE: The 2014 Fifa World Cup

This week’s show looked at the science inside the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup. The players, the stadiums, the health and injuries of this incredible event. We’ll take you back to our own world cup experience in 2010 and explore some of the technologies that will be used for the first time in this year’s world cup, in Brazil. What does it take to build a stadium and why is mexican beef bad for footballers? We’ve also got a bit of a shocking story about a TB clinic in Jo’burg.

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