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Meet Reabetswe Mpete, Netball South Africa’s newly appointed Netball World Cup 2023 Project Manager.

It’s been just over a month since I started working with Netball South Africa. Being appointed as the Project Manager for the Netball World Cup 2023 is a great opportunity to grow and make history.

NSA: First up, congratulations with the appointment. As the former SASCOC High Performance Coordinator, your experience in sport is nothing new. Tell us a bit more how you got into sport and events management?
Reabetswe Mpete:
I started out playing hockey in grade 1 and continued to play right through high school. I then went on to study BA Sports Communications at the University of Johannesburg. After I completed my undergrad I went on to do my BA Honours in Sports Management at the University of Johannesburg; it was during my honours year when I first worked on a live sporting event which was the Rugby Varsity Cup. The exhilarating feeling of that event lead me to know that I was on the right path. In that same year I was appointed as South Africa’s Young Ambassador for the Summer Youth Olympic Games, in Nanjing China. It was at this games and getting to see the build up and the workings of the event at that level further showed me that sporting events management is a career path that I would want to follow.

NSA: What has been your career highlights thus far?
It has to be the opportunity to be part of the team that delivered Team South Africa to the African Games in 2015, the Olympic Games in 2016, the AUSC Region IV Games in 2016, the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and coming full circle with the Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018. Another career highlight outside of the games was getting the opportunity to attend a meeting and represent the voice of South Africa at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2019. It was a moment that gave me the confidence to go for this role, I knew I was ready.

NSA: What are the key things when undertaking a big project like organising an international event?
RM: Any international event’s goal is to produce a memorable time for all involved. The key things you undertakings are 1.) Define the purpose and format of the event. 2.) Pay sufficient attention to planning. 3.) Draft your budget taking into account unforeseeable situations. 4.) The devil is in the detail! 5.)Check the location and have a plan B. 6.) Allocate responsibilities, it is so important to rely on your team. 7.) Constantly market the event and draw in the audience. 8.) Pay attention to service, you want to have people around to solve any problems that may arise. 9.) It is so important to carry out a final check 24 hours before the event starts. 10.) Asking for feedback is so important, this will give you the most important information that you would need for future events.

NSA: What are you most excited about as we build up to 2023? Any challenges you expect on the road ahead?
RM: I am excited for so many things and much of which I can’t say at the moment, but what I can say is that South Africa and the netball loving world are in for a great ride with different events building up to 2023. The biggest challenge right now will be the evolving changes in protocols for COVID-19 and events.

NSA: In your opinion has women’s sport grown are we on the right track with our male counterparts?
RM: Netball South Africa is definitely on track! As an observer over the years I have watched netball grow its commercial value and that shows by there being a netball channel of SuperSport. Women’s sport in South Africa is growing and we are on the right track however we need more support from corporate companies. We need to get all our women’s sport teams professional contracts and a professional league so that our athletes can focus solely on playing.

NSA: Do you have a connection with netball? Any specific netball moments that has been memorable thus far?
RM: Yes, my aunt Bongi Mokaba used to play netball when she was in high school and we bonded over our love for sports. One of my most memorable netball moments was in university playing against other res teams, as much as it was a social league it was the fun on the court that sold me as well as running the social media pages for UJ Sport during the Netball Varsity Cup in 2014.

NSA: Your 2023 predictions?
RM: The SPAR Proteas of course 🙂

NSA: When we come to the end of the 2023 Netball World Cup, what moments would you like people to take away with them, what do you want them to never forget?
RM: I want people to never forget the warmth and the love South Africa will show them. I would also love for people to take away the moment the SPAR Proteas win the 2023 Netball World Cup!

Thank you Reabetswe, and we all wish you the very best of luck with all the preparations.