JOHANNESBURG - The programme schedule for the 1st World University Netball Championships (WUNC) in Cape Town next month has been adjusted after the late entry of Zimbabwe. The Tournament is to be played at the Good Hope Centre from July 2 to July 7.
Financial constraints meant that only seven countries entered the inaugural university championships, but the International University Sports Federation has since approved Zimbabwe’s late entry. Initially, the tournament was to be played on a round robin basis, with all teams playing each other, but the schedule has since been adapted to a pool system, with inter-pool playoffs on Thursday July 5. The semifinals will be played on Friday and the final on Saturday.
The tournament will start with a match between South Africa and Ireland at noon on July 2, after a brief opening ceremony. The other teams in Pool A are the United States and Zimbabwe. The teams in Pool B are Jamaica, Namibia, Great Britain and Uganda.
The day before the start of the tournament, the participating teams will conduct coaching clinics at the University of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, as part of the WUNC Legacy programme. The youngsters attending the clinics will each receive a t-shirt and a snack-pack, which will be handed out by the tournament mascot, Pukki.
Tournament Director Helene Botha is hoping that the people of Cape Town and the surrounding areas will turn out in numbers to support the South African team and to watch some exciting netball. “University netball is the heartbeat of the sport in most countries, and netball fans will see some of the world’s best players in action,” she said.
“The ticket prices are very reasonable – R20 for adults and R10 for children younger than 12, and we are hoping for a packed stadium.”
Three members of the SPAR national team that beat Jamaica 56-49 on Tuesday night – Bongiwe Msomi of the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Vanes-Mari du Toit of Pretoria University (Tuks), and Free State University (Kovsies) player Maryka Holtzhausen, will be part of the USSA team.
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