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Friday, 4 August 2023 – Players at the Netball World Cup 2023 currently underway in Cape Town have spoken about their positive experiences at the tournament which is being played on African soil for the first time.

Players in 16 teams from across the globe have been battling it out for the last week at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, with the semifinals scheduled for Saturday and the final on Sunday.

Speaking about her overall experience of the tournament, England captain Nat Metcalf said: “We are absolutely loving it. To be part of the first World Cup on African soil is an incredible moment for us.

“We love the people here, it’s been running really smoothly and we are loving our time out here. We love coming to Cape Town and South Africa, whenever we come out here, we really enjoy it. We are really grateful to be here.”

Fiji goal attack Unaisi Rauluni agreed with those sentiments, saying: “We’ve really been enjoying the whole experience. It has been so nice. We also went on safari, and it was great. It was fantastic to see lions so close. The people have been really friendly.”

Scotland captain Claire Maxwell commented: “We are super grateful to be at this World Cup in South Africa. They’ve done a great job of hosting us and the volunteers are so helpful, smiling all the time. And then of course, the crowd, they bring their own flair, it’s been fantastic.”

Zimbabwe captain Felisitus Kwangwa reckoned: “It was really good to have the World Cup in Africa, it felt really good with the crowds. It means a lot for the development of netball, probably more nations will chip into netball since it has been hosted in Africa, they now know what netball can do.”

The captain of 11-time Netball World Cup champions Australia, Liz Watson, added: “It has been incredible being in Cape Town, it’s an awesome city and we have loved being here. The tournament has been fantastic, and the crowds have simply been the best.”

Goal shooter for the Welsh side, Georgia Rowe said her side don’t want the tournament to come to an end. “It’s been a completely different atmosphere in South Africa. I think the people of South Africa are amazing. We’ve been welcomed from the minute we got here… we don’t want to leave. If we could stay and this is what we do forever, then I think we’d all chuck our hands up and say: ‘Yeah, let’s stay and do this forever.’ It’s been fantastic,” she said.

Meanwhile, enjoying the spectacle from the stands has been former Proteas captain and South African Fast-5 coach Martha Mosoahle-Samm who said: “I think it’s been very exciting. Everyone is here, we are here, we are witnessing it for the first time so everyone is excited.

“It’s everything that we’ve been wanting for little girls to see netball at such a high level, and I hope and believe that after this netball will change for the best.”

Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023