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On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, China. ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2’ (SARS-CoV-2) was confirmed as the causative agent of what we now know as ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019’ (COVID-19). Since then, the virus has spread to more than 100 countries, including South Africa.

After this hit home in South Africa our honourable Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr. Nathi Mthethwa, requested a meeting on the 17th of March with the Sport Federation Leadership to encourage us as a collective to do the responsible thing; to protect our athletes, families, fellow citizens and ourselves by postponing our events and to take the necessary precautions.

So many things have happened since then, which has ultimately led to South Africa’s lockdown that started at midnight (last night Thursday 26 March).

Since returning from the United Kingdom on the 6th of March, I have shown no symptoms of the COVID-19 Coronavirus and have recently been to see my doctor. The Netball South Africa staff and I are currently in isolation and working from home.

We are all facing challenges with regard to our scheduled events and the rescheduling thereof. How do we keep the over two million netball players and administrators motivated? How will we motivate while we are staying indoors? How do we keep our SPAR Proteas safe that are traveling around the world for duty? How do we keep our local players and administrators motivated?

After we all united in prayer on the 26th of March as requested by the Honourable President of our country, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, I felt so present and proud to be a South African. No other Nation can stand together as we do!

My plea to our netball family is to pray for our President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet, the ill, the vulnerable, the medical staff and caretakers, all our government members in the front line battling this disease. To keep praying for our netball family, all the players, coaches, administrators, fans and Netball South Africa’s staff members, who recently adopted their 2020 slogan to be:” Surrender the me for the WE”. Not forgetting Netball South Africa President, Ms. Cecilia Molokwane and her Executive Management for strength and vision during this challenging period. They now need your support more than ever before.

Let us reflect during this time about relationships with family, friends, colleagues and most of all our business partners and their staff. Please pray for the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr. Nathi Mthethwa and his government department, SPAR, SuperSport, Telkom, Tsogo Sun, Twizza, Gilbert, PUMA, Energade, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). May they be blessed for their continued support in these trying times.

When everything returns to normal, let us as a netball family rise stronger and pledge our support to our sponsors and stakeholders to enable them to successfully recover from this lockdown period. Always remember, TOGETHER WE CAN