Hosts NMMU had a successful run at the SPAR Madibaz Netball Tournament as a record 67 teams took part at the event held at the South Campus this past weekend.
Madibaz teams won the A, A reserve, B and C sections, while Despatch took the honours in the D category. Phoenix won the men’s tournament.
The event started in 2005 and has shown huge growth over the years said Madibaz netball manager Melinda Goosen.
This year, in order to accommodate the growing field, organisers made the decision to add an additional day.
“Previously, the tournament always took place on a Saturday but, due to the increase in the number of teams, we decided that it would be beneficial to include an additional day.”
However, despite the extra sessions on Friday, organisers were still unable to accommodate every team. Goosen said they were still forced to decline applications of several teams due to limited courts and time slots.
This year the event included schools from Nelson Mandela Bay and the Grahamstown area.
“We accommodate all sections and levels of play and having schools take part offers another avenue for the growth of the tournament.
“We only market it to the greater Eastern Cape region and the fact that we have had such a great response, especially this year, shows how important it is to have such an event,” said Goosen.
Goosen attributed much of the tournament’s success to its timing.
“It takes place at the beginning of the season, which means it allows coaches an opportunity to test their teams before the official season gets under way.”
“With SPAR as our partners, we have been lucky to create a tournament in which clubs want to participate.”
Goosen said the event was not only important for the university, but for the region as a whole.
“It is an obligation we have to our fellow clubs.”
She said their focus would now be to get even more teams to participate so there can be greater interaction between sides that don’t normally play against each other.