Photos: World Cup netball tournament kicks off gracefully


The South African flag flew in all its glory during the spectacular opening ceremony of the World Cup netball tournament.

The tournament officially kicked off on Friday in a packed Cape Town International Convention Center (Kiks) in the Mother City.

The Proteas won their opening match of the tournament.

The opening ceremony of about 30 minutes was attended by deputy pres. Paul Mashatile, Zizi Kodwa, Minister of Sports, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Speaker of the National Assembly, Cecilia Molokwane, President of Netball SA, Liz Nicholl, World Netball President and Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier.

There was a music performance by Presss, the Afro-soul and R&B star, who made for a big party.

Nicholl said yesterday that she was excited about the World Cup netball tournament being hosted on South African home soil this year.

“The very first World Cup netball tournament was held in Eastbourne in England in 1963 and here we are now celebrating 60 years later the very first World Cup netball tournament to be held on African soil, here in Cape Town. We are looking forward to a truly spectacular event,” she told SuperSport.

The South African Parliament said the World Cup netball tournament, which is being presented for the first time on the African continent, is a historic milestone for South Africa and the sport of netball.

“The South African national team carries the hope and pride of the nation, and we firmly believe in their skill, determination and fighting spirit to achieve success despite the challenging opposition in this tournament. Their dedication and sacrifice in preparing for this event is admirable, and we are eager to see how they seize the opportunity and excite us all,” the parliament said in a statement on Friday.

“The World Cup offers a unique opportunity for us to unite through a common goal. With 16 outstanding teams, we strengthen friendships and understanding across borders. Together we can inspire future generations of netball stars.”

Action-packed netball matches will take place in Kiks until August 6.