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The Telkom Netball Championships came to an end on Thursday the 6th of October at Hoërskool Waterkloof in Pretoria, after a week of junior netball competition featuring under-17 and under-18 players from South African Schools and under-19 players from South Africa’s district teams.

The Telkom Netball Championships’ (TNC) is the joining of forces between Netball South Africa and SA Schools Netball (SASN) in collaboration with mobile network operator Telkom. It’s aimed at giving young netballers an opportunity to showcase their talent and to develop their overall netball skills. Apart from the players, the tournament also gave team managers, coaches, umpires and administrators an opportunity to gain valuable tournament experience. Selectors and talent scouts were also roaming the courts deliberating as new, future talent was identified.

Tshwane A and Ethekwini advanced to the under-19 final in the A1 division. After finishing undefeated throughout the week, Tshwane A sealed the victory and the title with a 52-22 score at full time. Mangaung took the bronze beating Cape Winelands 40-39 in a tense encounter.  *Tshwane A beat Mangaung 31-23 in the A1 semifinal and Ethekwini beat Cape Winelands 36-30 in the second A1 semifinal.

Sone Mokken head coach of Tshwane’s under-19 A1 team said: “The girls were hungry, they wanted the gold, their attitudes were right and they executed the game plan perfectly. Telkom was great, bringing all these players together during COVID, it was a big opportunity for them and Telkom made it possible for them to play.”

The best under-19 players of the tournament were: Zané Bodenstein from Tshwane (Overall Player of the Tournament), Amber Marshall (Best Shooter) from Tshwane, Karla Victor (Best Centre Court) from Mangaung Metro and Amara Agbai (Best Defender) Gauteng Delta.

In the other under-19 divisions: Zululand beat Umgungundlovu in the A2 final 37-32, Tshwane B beat Vhembe in the B1 final 44-26 and Ekurhuleni B beat Leweleputswa in the B2 final 43-22.

The under-18 final was contested between Morula from Limpopo and Delta from Gauteng, with Morula winning it 28-20. The under-17 final was won by Gauteng’s Lambda, beating Gamma (also from Gauteng) 42-34.

A squad of 16 under-18 players have been selected for Team South Africa, who will be participating at the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 games in Lesotho this December. This South African team will be coached by SPAR Proteas U21 Assistant Coach, Precious Mthembu. Lifalethu Khumalo (from the Gauteng Jaguars) will be the team’s manager.