Share this article


15 December 2023, Pretoria – After four Netball World Cups and three Commonwealth Games, SPAR Proteas Captain Bongiwe “Bongi” Msomi has announced her retirement from netball as a player.

Msomi joined the SPAR Proteas in 2011 at the age of 23 and assumed the captaincy in 2016 until her retirement in 2023. She led the team during the 2019 and 2023 Netball World Cups in Liverpool and Cape Town, respectively.

“The decision to retire comes after careful consideration, but I am so grateful that I can make this announcement with a full heart, knowing that I leave the SPAR Proteas and South African netball in a very healthy space. I am eternally grateful to all the coaches, colleagues, and teammates who have played instrumental roles during my career – there are too many to mention, but you know who you are! Thisha (Mr SG Mncwabe), I will forever thank you for seeing the talent in me and going the extra mile to make sure I become more than just an athlete in netball,” said SPAR Proteas Captain Bongiwe Msomi.

Bongi leaves the game of netball as a player with 171 caps under her belt and is currently the most capped player in the history of the team thus far. Msomi also played in Australia for Adelaide Thunderbirds and in England for Surrey Storm and Wasp before returning home to coach the University of Johannesburg and playing for Gauteng Golden Fireballs in the Telkom Netball League.

“Bongi has been a great role model for netball both as a player and coach. I think everyone who is in netball can relate to and know who Bongi is. It is quite sad for me to see her retire; however, I am proud of what she has been able to achieve and who she has become. Being one of our longest-serving captains and the most capped player is a milestone we can never take lightly. I think as a federation, we need to look at how we archive the experience that our senior players – on behalf of the federation, we would like to wish Boh everything of the best. She might be done playing, but the door is open for her here; this is home for her,” said Cecilia Molokwane, Netball South Africa President.

Msomi concluded by saying “I would like to make a special mention of coach Norma Plummer, who took lots of time away from home (at her age) to be of such great influence in our country. You are such an inspiration to me, and you definitely kept me going on the court much longer than I thought I might have. From you, I learned how to lead selflessly, as well as to see, love and understand the in-depth part of coaching, and to appreciate the sport even more. Thank you for everything you’ve done for netball in our country. You and your team have been awesome. Of course, a special thank you also has to go to my wonderful family and my partner Raeesa, who have supported me every step of the way on this journey. Another message of immense gratitude must go to my other ‘family,’ Roc Nation Sports International, for believing in me from day one and offering incredible support and guidance on and off the court. A massive thank you must go to Netball SA for backing me and for respecting me as the SPAR Proteas Captain over the past years. It has been a great honour to work with you all and I appreciate you so much. I will also be forever grateful to my various sponsors and partners that have been part of this wonderful netball journey.”