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Big sponsorship boost for netball

Already heading for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi later this year Netball South Africa (NSA) had an extra reason to celebrate National Women’s Day on Monday when grocery giant SPAR announced that they were extending their sponsorship for a further three years.

Speaking at the opening of the SPAR national netball tournament in Potchefstroom, South Rand Managing Director Brett Botten said he had 14-million reasons to make the participants happy, because the sponsorship is worth R14million over the next three years.

ÔÇ£Sport provides an exciting platform on which to build our brand and women’s sport presents an excellent channel for this,ÔÇØ said Botten. ÔÇ£The huge majority of our customers are women, and we believe that we have a duty to support them in return. Netball provides us with a great opportunity to demonstrate our support for our customers. Not many people know that Netball is South Africa’s second most popular sport (after soccer) and certainly the most popular sport amongst women, who are important role players in the new South Africa.ÔÇØ

Botten said he was delighted to announce that SPAR had decided to continue their sponsorship of netball for another three years. He said the sponsorship would cover the national netball team, the national championships, a Tri-nations series, development, administration and the promotion of netball.

ÔÇ£We are very serious about this partnership,ÔÇØ said Botten. ÔÇ£Having sponsored this beautiful game for the past eight years, SPAR believes that it has formed a sound and solid working relationship with Netball South Africa and our future together can only grow from strength to strength.ÔÇØ

NSA President Mimi Mthethwa said NSA were overjoyed by the decision. ÔÇ£SPAR has been a loyal and devoted sponsor for the past eight years,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£Without their support and assistance, it would be almost impossible to achieve the things we need to achieve. Many of the teams taking part in these championships would not have been able to do so if they had not had that support. Their support for the national team, and their willingness to help the Proteas to get international exposure has meant that we have been able to start working our way back up the world rankings.ÔÇØ

Mthethwa said the sponsorship had also helped NSA with their transformation programme. ÔÇ£We believe we have done well with transformation, and with the support of SPAR and the Department of Sport and Recreation, we have come a very long way,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£The netball family is very happy that our relationship with SPAR will continue to flourish.ÔÇØ

Sports Minister Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile praised SPAR for its continued sponsorship of netball. ÔÇ£Women’s sports often find it difficult to find sponsors, but SPAR must be lauded for their ongoing loyalty and support for the biggest women’s participation sport in South Africa,ÔÇØ said the Minister.

Results on the first day of the national championships
Women’s A Section

Western Province bt Gauteng East 38-37
Griqualand West bt Gauteng Central 58-35
Freestate Motheo bt Dr Kenneth Kaunda 40-30
Gauteng North bt Gauteng West 73-16

Women’s B Section
SWD bt Capricorn 41-24
Zululand bt Bizhub Boland 34-22
Gauteng North bt Vhemba 34-23
Western Province bt Gauteng Vaal 30-28

Women’s C Section
Fezile Dabie bt EC Ukhahlamba 33-23
Enhlanzeni bt Lim Sekhukhune 27-31
OR Tambo bt Nkangala 37-31
Central Boland bt Cacadu 58-32
West Coast bt Alfred NZO 43-21
Gert Sibanda bt Chris Hani 55-16

Men’s Section
NM Molema bt KZN Ukahlamba 23-19
Gauteng Central bt Fezile Dabie 14-46
Freestate Motheo bt Central Boland 55-25
Waterberg bt Dr Kenneth Kaunda 32-23
Gauteng North bt  Lim Sekhukhune 64-13
Zululand bt Vhembe 57-13