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Six months after Netball South Africa suspended all activities and the country being under lockdown, the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has finally given the federation the thumbs up and the green light to resume professional netball training and play effective from 16 September 2020.

Netball South Africa had suspended all their planned activities in March just before the country went into level five lockdown on the 26thof March 2020. Some of the events that were cancelled included the SPAR Proteas and Under 21 training camps respectively, the launch of the national netball tournament Telkom Netball League and SPAR Proteas head coach Dorette Badenhorst coaching clinics.

“The return of netball is very welcomed, and we are happy that the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture has approved our return to training and play proposals. The lives of all our teams and everyone involved in giving us netball are important, it is for this reason that we will ensure that we adhere to very strict health protocols that have been set out for us at all times. Over the past few months, we have worked around the clock ensuring that we put health measures that will ensure that we minimise the contraction of the virus especially when we resume training and get ready for TNL. Our provincial teams which will be participating in the TNL can now resume training and coaches can now get the teams ready and start preparing, training programmes and protocols will be shared with all the teams to ensure that we comply with regulations,” said Netball South Africa President, Cecilia Molokwane.

The approval from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture allows Netball South Africa to resume with the Telkom Netball League in a Biological Safe Environment for a period of three weeks, and spectators are still not allowed to attend the matches during this period.

Netball South Africa has confirmed that the league will be played in a bubble and all the details around this will be made available and public on the 21stof September when the federation officially launches the 2020 season of the Telkom Netball League.

“Netball South Africa’s Events team has been working around the clocks to ensure that all the planned events for this calendar year are moved around swiftly and take place smoothly. This has been a stressful period for them however they have really moved mountains and performed miracles especially considering the amount of uncertainty that exists, I am proud of what they have been able to do,” concluded Molokwane.

Events such as the SPAR National Championships and Male National Champs are also confirmed to take place still in 2020 and more information around these will be communicated in due time.

For now the return to netball training and netball play only pertains to Netball South Africa’s upcoming events: the Telkom Netball League, the Males National Netball Championships and the SPAR National Championships. Netball South Africa will share more updates and information regarding other netball practices, such as schools and club netball when available.