Zanele Mdodana Longing for ‘Large Activity’ as South Africa’s Professional Netball League Dream Begins


The long-held dream of South Africa establishing knowledgeable netball league is wanting like extra of a actuality, after Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa announced the members of the expert panel tasked to make this challenge occur, on Wednesday 28 November 2023 

The panel might be in command of establishing a blueprint for the event of Netball within the nation, and can see its time period anticipated to assessment netball’s technique and the hassle to extend mass participation, to make sure Netball turns into a primary selection sport in communities. 

They may make sure that the nationwide league sees success as a business product, and that it generates income for the system to extend the printed worth and help the trail to professionalisation. One other responsibility might be reaching excellence within the worldwide rankings at main worldwide competitions, in addition to being anticipated to cope with issues pertaining to governance and finance.

One title that catches the attention on the panel is former Proteas captain Zanele Mdodana. Since Mdodana got here onto the netball stage she has been very vocal about what her beloved sport wants, and being the individual she is, she has been doing her finest to present again the place she will.

Mdodana is on the panel in an advisory position, and says that being a part of the challenge will enable her to proceed to make use of her voice for the betterment of the game, and for individuals who play it.  

“It permits me to be a voice and ensure that we work effectively and work with integrity to take netball to the extent it’s imagined to be at, which is primary in Africa and to be competing within the high three on this planet,” Mdodana instructed gsport.

“It’s a chance now as we put together for the 2027 Netball World Cup, for us to get all our geese in a row and ensure we observe a correct observe. It’s an thrilling place to be, but additionally one thing I don’t take without any consideration. We all know it’s not going to be clean crusing, however I’m personally wanting ahead to the problem.”

Netball has been on the up and a giant milestone was reached in 2022 when 24 Spar Proteas gamers have been handed their first skilled contracts. Captain Bongi Msomi, Khanyisa Chawane, and Karla Pretorius have been among the many gamers who secured these contracts. This was an enormous step in creating knowledgeable setting for gamers, as the fact for many sportswomen is having to juggle their sporting profession in addition to a job and generally even motherhood. 

Mdodana says having knowledgeable league based mostly in South Africa has many positives, together with strengthening the sport and gamers, in addition to enabling them to enhance on all ranges, and significantly with the ability to compete in opposition to one of the best. 

“It might imply every part to the gamers to have knowledgeable league. We have now the Telkom Netball League however we additionally perceive that gamers will not be enjoying netball at knowledgeable degree.”

“They nonetheless need to have jobs, and for us to be aggressive on this planet, we’d like knowledgeable league. We might want to open up our league, in order that it’s open not solely to South African-based gamers but additionally for African gamers. In addition to different worldwide gamers to strengthen and increase the standard, commonplace of play, and competitiveness.” 

“We have now been privileged to have most of our Proteas gamers play abroad for skilled franchises. However to have an in-house skilled league the place worldwide gamers would look to come back and play in South Africa would actually increase the usual and high quality of our gamers and likewise our efficiency. So that’s one thing Netball South Africa is working in direction of and we must help to ensure we finally get there,” stated Mdodana.

A number of Proteas gamers additionally scored skilled netball league contracts after the World Cup this 12 months. Eight gamers might be enjoying within the Tremendous League for numerous groups throughout the UK. Amongst them, Elmere van der Berg and Shadine van der Merwe might be enjoying for Manchester Thunder. Whereas Chawane will prove for Celtic Dragons in Cardiff, Nichole Taljaard joined London Pulse and World Cup debutant Owethu Ngubane will play for the Strathclyde Sirens in Scotland. Jeante’ Strydom might be heading Down Underneath to affix Southern Metal in New Zealand. 

The World Cup has definitely helped in dashing up the method of making a fully-fledged skilled league in South Africa. Mdodana believes this could solely spearhead netball in the appropriate path as South Africa seems to be to turn out to be the most effective groups on this planet.  

“We noticed the usual of the highest groups within the World Cup and for us to compete with them we have to ensure that we’re knowledgeable code in South Africa. We’ve received the expertise however you possibly can’t part-time netball and suppose you’re going to be aggressive in opposition to groups which might be enjoying netball on knowledgeable degree.”

“It’s actually going to be an enormous job for us to ensure that we get all programs going. However that is what it’s about, it’s not about speaking about it anymore, it’s about actually the implementation and placing the appropriate programs in place. By the point we get to the 2027 World Cup, South Africa have to be a rustic that folks know goes there to trigger a few upsets and be an enormous risk.“

The Newly-Introduced Impartial Advisory Panel on Netball

Maria Magdalena Bezuidenhout, College of Pretoria Netball
Nozipho Jafta, CEO of SASCOC
Blanche De la Guerre, former CEO of Netball South Africa
Zanele Mdodana, former Spar Proteas Captain, Netball coach at College of Stellenbosch
Dr. Hajira Mashego, an Educational and Director of Sport at Tshwane College of Expertise

Picture caption: The long-held dream of netball in South Africa to determine knowledgeable league is wanting like turning into a actuality, following the announcement of a panel by Sports activities Minister Zizi Kodwa, on Wednesday, 28 November 2023. Picture: Minister Zizi Kodwa on X

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