Western Cape netball boosted by new ClemenGold District Netball League
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Cape Town — Western Cape netball has been given a shot in the arm with the launch of the 10-team ClemenGold District Netball League (CDNL), in Stellenbosch on Monday evening.
The new weekend competition will become an add-on to the existing Western Cape competitions and have been created for players to grow and showcase their talent. The launch was attended by some notable guests who count among the who's who of South African netball.
The CDNL will start in February 2022 as part of an ongoing effort to develop high performance players in the Western Cape. It will allow for scouting opportunities for teams in the national Telkom Netball League.
It will follow a round-robin format. Thereafter, it will stage a relegation match and the final to conclude the tournament.
The president of the Western Cape Netball Federation, Bennie Saayman, a former Spar Protea coach, said the tournament would serve as a stepping stone towards the vision of making the game professional.
"The fact that the participating district clubs will be supported by a sponsor, is long overdue," said Saayman. "The brand complements health and fitness and with a strong focus on women empowerment.
"Netball is the perfect fit mostly notably so because it has the greatest sport participation numbers for women in the country."
Charlotte Scholtz, World Netball's Technical Delegate for the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town, is a leading light in the region. As a StellenSport director, Scholtz has thrown her weight behind the new event.
“It really is about grassroots to greatness, which becomes possible with the support of sponsors," said Scholtz. "We use partnerships to the advantage of the local communities and municipalities.
"Some of our goals for this league include community visibility and image building; accessibility and exposure for smaller clubs in the district.
"We will include junior teams in the future (phase 2) to pick up players that fall through the cracks and who don’t have access to a high performance platform.
"If we can influence one player at a time, we will wake up a netball nation!”
Renowned sports scientist and netball coach Freda Kemp, the chief executive officer of StellenSport was also in attendance. She the tournament was key to player upliftment and will help netball players to be able to make the sport a career choice like their rugby, soccer and cricket counterparts.
The tournament was given the stamp of approval by Sandra du Plessis, who has more than 25 years of elite and international netball coaching experience. Du Plessis, a sports scientist, is well known for delivering a coaching masterclass in the netball fraternity.