It’s all systems go for the Netball World Cup (NWC) tournament, which is being hosted in the City of Cape Town, with less than 24 hours left until the opening match on home soil.
The tournament will run from 28 July to 6 August and will be the first to take place on the continent of Africa.
The SPAR Proteas have all of their ducks in a row, according to team manager, Nisha Rupnarian.
“The City of Cape Town is ready. A lot of hard work has been put into the preparations and the excitement is building.
“As SPAR Proteas, we are grateful to the City of Cape Town for their commitment, hard work and preparations as well. We, as a nation, are very resilient and resourceful. We are going to put on a show that the world will be in awe of. Well done to the city for the hard work that they have put in to make sure that this event is a success.”
For Rupnarian, it has taken a lot of organisation and preparation to make sure that the SPAR Proteas are in good condition and are ready to take on the world.
“The support that we get from Netball South Africa and our various sponsors help us to perform well. It is these kind of structures that provide us with all of our needs. Thank you to Netball SA for making it happen, and for bringing the NWC to us and for all that they have done.
“The government support has been absolutely amazing. We appreciate that as well,” said Rupnarian.
It has taken a lot of work for the NWC organisers to put together the construction of the netball courts at the Cape Town International Convention Center (ICC).
Speaking on the readiness of the venue, Heins van Juuren, Safety Officer on site said: “We started working on the NWC construction project since last year and to finally convert the venue to courts, it took about two weeks to put together the whole court.
“All of the courts are built-in structures… [The] seats have a capacity of 4 000 to 7 000. We are busy with lighting, the floor, built-in chairs, changing rooms and fabricating will be behind the court, and it is a lot of work,” said Heins van Juuren, the Safety Officer on site.
Safety and security is one of the main concerns for many people in South Africa and Cape Town is no exception.
The NWC organisers have put together tight security plans.
“We cannot confirm the numbers on security personnel. However, it is going to be a lot. We do have the Venue Operations Control. All the main teams will be involved, from medics, the Fire Department, South African Police Service and the Air Force,” said Van Juuren.
Fans can also watch the games at fan parks that have been officially opened in various provinces.
Visit the Netball World Cup website to buy tickets online and to follow match schedules here. – By Anele Zikali / SAnews.gov.za