The Cape Town International Convention Centre erupted with jubilation this afternoon when Molly Rhone, President of the International Netball Federation (INF), announced that the 2023 Netball World Cup would be coming to Cape Town and would be hosted at the CTICC.
The event was broadcast live and streamed to nations across the world from CTICC 2.
The Western Cape and National governments, City of Cape Town and Netball South Africa entered a bid last year and were up against stiff competition from New Zealand, which has hosted the event six times. It will be the first time ever that the event will be hosted on African soil.
The CTICC will be transformed into a world-class netball centre that meets all of the International Netball Federation requirements. The event is expected to inject more than R2.5-billion into the Western Cape and South African economies. An estimated 120 000 people are expected to come to the event which will be the 16th time the World Cup will be hosted since 1963.
Netball is one of the fastest growing sports in Africa and the Netball World Cup is the third most popular sport after the Olympics and FIFA Football World Cup.
“It is truly an honour for the CTICC to host the 2023 Netball World Cup. Netball is overwhelmingly the most popular sport played by South African women and hosting this event will give effect to the CTICC’s commitment to the growth and development of women and girls in business and sport,” said Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the CTICC.
In keeping with the theme of women and girl empowerment, Minister of Sport and Recreation, Tokozile Xasa, said that hosting the event provided the country with the opportunity to grow the sport amongst women in South African communities.
“Netball in South Africa is already transformed and hosting the Netball World Cup 2023 will be the catalyst to further spread netball into all communities in South Africa, and further provide a foundation for increasing growth of this sport into Africa. Hosting this World Cup will make more young girls in our country to participate in the sport, more especially young girls from rural areas,” said Xasa.
Announcing the host country, Rhone said that one of the key factors in awarding the event to South Africa was its commitment to empower women through the sport.
“The INF board decided that the significant investment that the winning bidder is prepared to make over the next four years in netball facilities and coaching programmes in their country, region and beyond would deliver a greater impact on the development of netball globally. The INF is committed to the empowerment of women and girls through netball. The winning bid aligns perfectly with the INF’s strategic aims and programmes,” said Rhone.
Ellingson commended everyone who joined Netball South Africa’s “Put Your Hands Up” campaign for the 2023 Netball World Cup, and encouraged all South Africans to get behind the national netball team.
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