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With just a day to go, the City of Cape Town is hive of activity with activity as the start of the 2023 Netball World Cup draws closer. With only one day remaining before the first centre pass, teams are very excited and ready to go, with many fans from across the globe descending to the Mother City.

The 2023 Netball World Cup Local Organising Committee, together with World Netball World Cup, hosted a Candle Lighting Ceremony, which is a 60-year tradition that symbolises the start of the Netball World Cup – this is an occasion where all captains pledge to play in the spirit of sportsmanship during the tournament.

Earlier in the day, Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Mr. Zizi Kodwa, hosted a flag handover breakfast meeting with the SPAR Proteas, where he wished them well ahead of the start of the Netball World Cup.

The SPAR Proteas were the first team to get to Cape Town to prepare, and they have been in camp for over two weeks. The team aims to do better and finish higher than what they did four years ago in Liverpool, where they finished fourth after losing against hosts England.

The players are in high spirits and are looking forward to taking to the court on Friday when they take on Wales – they are aware of the pressure that comes with playing at home in front of the local crowd.

“Training has been going very well for us thus far, and everyone seems to be stepping up. We are working hard on our combinations and sharpening skills. We are very ready and counting down hours to the start of our first game. We are very much aware of what is expected of us, we are going out there to win every single match,” said SPAR Proteas Vice Captain Karla Pretorius.

South Africa goes into this World Cup as one of the most experienced teams ever, boasting a total number of 781 test caps across the 12 selected players – this averages 65 caps per player.

SPAR Proteas will take on Wales in their opening group stages match – this is a side they have faced 19 times and have yet to lose against. Hosts will look to maintain this record as they also want to build on their confidence. Currently, according to World Netball’s latest rankings, South Africa is ranked 5th while Wales is four places below them at 9th.