Excitement levels are rising with less than three weeks to go before the first Netball World Cup hosted on African soil.
On 28th July, 16 teams from across the globe will launch their quests for glory at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) where the tournament will be held until 6th August.
Veteran Spar Proteas defender Phumza Maweni said: “It’s so exciting when you see the countdown… this is it, it’s really happening in our country.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the girls, to get together at camp.
“Everyone is looking ready and fit and they’ve worked so hard to improve the standard of the game so that makes me even more excited.
“I can’t wait to go on court and show the world what we have as a team.”
Maweni’s teammate Lenize Potgieter added her excitement.
“I hope you all have your tickets, I hope you’re all ready to support us and just bring the South African and African vibe,” she said.
“I think there’s a lot that’s going to be celebrated. I can’t wait for everyone to see the spirit of the African continent.”
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Great tickets are still available across many sessions to catch the teams in action at the CTICC where the World Cup tournament kicks off with two preliminary rounds, followed by the playoff matches.
The 16 qualified teams have been grouped into four pools of four.
Following a draw conducted late last year, Pool A consists of 11-time champions Australia, as well as Tonga, Zimbabwe and Fiji.
A match to look out for in this pool shapes as a rematch between Tonga and Zimbabwe who met in Sydney earlier this year at the PacificAus Series when Tonga took out the honours.
Pool B contains England, Malawi, Scotland and Barbados. The tussle between Scotland and Barbados will be a good one to see while Malawi may push England closer than expected.
Pool C sees Jamaica, hosts South Africa, Wales and Sri Lanka vying for all-important points. The key contest of stage one is in Session 11 on Saturday 30th July when Jamaica will battle South Africa for what will likely be top spot in this pool.
Pool D has defending champions New Zealand, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago and Singapore. Uganda is a side with tremendous talent and they may surprise, so New Zealand will need to be on their best form in that match-up on Day 2 in session 5.
Stage one of the preliminaries is contested in a round-robin format. The top three finishers in each group will progress to play a further 3 matches in stage two. Those teams from Groups A and B make up a new Group F. And the top three teams from Groups C and D form a new Group G.
Teams within Group F or G that have already played each other in stage one, carry the results from those matches through to stage two and don’t face off again.
Meanwhile, the teams that finished 4th in their pool form a new Group E and play a round-robin followed by play-off matches to determine places 13 to 16.
Back at the top of the pile, after the second stage matches have concluded, the teams finishing in the top two of Group F and G progress to the semi-finals, followed by the medal matches while those finishing lower down, play off for the minor places.
Capacity crowds are expected at the CTICC in Cape Town and fans are being encouraged to snap up tickets while they’re still available.
Details on tickets and travel packages and more information are all available on the official World Cup tournament website.
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