Netball South Africa together with Brutal Fruit today launched the 2018 edition of the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League (BFNPL) in a classy event at the Sandton Sun Hotel in Johannesburg.

The fifth season of the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League is set to start on the 11th of May at the Ellis Park Indoor Arena, where it will be held for two weekends, before heading to The University of Pretoria Sport Campus’ Rembrandt Hall for the final 4 weekends, finishing on the 17th of June 2018. The league has taken on a shortened 6-week format in 2018, with the Commonwealth Games (Where the Proteas finished 5th) having taken place in April and provided an extra event to the calendar.

Fetsi Mbele, Sponsorship Manager Africa of Ab InBev, said: “The development of the game of netball in South Africa and women in sport, as well as the game’s recognition and status elevation has always been the most critical objective for Brutal Fruit in our involvement in the BFNPL. Our connection to the sport runs deeper than simple title holders of the tournament as our efforts over the years and continues to be focused on making a meaningful contribution to developing the sport.

“We believe that we have made important inroads in ensuring that women enjoy a more equitable share of support within the national sporting arena. We are proud of the fact that several players have gone on to represent their country at a national level in the time that we have been part of the BFNPL. We are grateful for the guidance we have been provided by our partners, the NSA, as the administrators and experts in the sport over the years and look forward to continuing our close work with them for a successful 2018 season,” says Malefetsane Mbele, Sponsorships Manager: Consumer Connections, SAB and AB InBev Africa.

In a welcome addition, The City of Joburg announced they have partnered with Netball South Africa to host this year’s Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League with a view to annually hosting the league as well as international events in the future.

The BFNPL, as it is known, is the premier Netball competition in South Africa and plays huge role in the preparation of players for the Spar Proteas as well as junior national teams. It has been responsible for the discovery of national stars like Pumza Maweni, Renske Stoltz and Lenize Potgieter.

“Sport brings hope where there was despair, together we always survive the hurdles” said Cecilia Molokwane, President of Netball South Africa. “The BFNPL provides the opportunity for our girls to find that hope as well as inspire the next generation of Netball players. We want to take the game to the people and build strong female role models for everyone to aspire to. I wish all the teams well for the 5th season of the BFNPL and know it will be bigger and better.”