The Nelson University Mandela teams underlined their potential when the popular SPAR Madibaz Netball Tournament was held at the south campus in Port Elizabeth this past weekend.
With as many as 80 sides now competing in the event, it was extended to three days for the first time.
Madibaz Sport netball manager Melinda Goosen said the varsity teams received excellent preparation for the season.
“Our women’s teams finished in the top two in four of the five divisions, which is a sign of great strength for the coming season,” she said.
“It is still early days, but we were very happy with the results and have a strong base to build on.”
She added that the level of play was definitely higher this year.
“It was a great men’s division final played between the top male team in Nelson Mandela Bay [Phoenix] and a Johannesburg-based outfit [JCNC].
“It was also good to see the younger generation in action.
“There were sides from various schools around the Eastern Cape, including Kingswood from Grahamstown, DSG, Framesby and Collegiate High, as well as Volkskool, all the way from Graaff-Reinet.”
Goosen said the tradition of the event over many years had transformed it into the most popular tournament in the Eastern Cape.
“But the great thing this year is that teams entered from outside the province’s boundaries, which shows the growth of and interest in the tournament.
“Underpinning the success of this event is the support from our loyal sponsors, SPAR.
“Through their efforts in mobilising suppliers to also back the tournament, it has been possible to create extra avenues through entertainment and prizes for the participating teams.”
The results were:
Schools: U18: Framesby; U16: Collegiate
Women, A section: 1 Madibaz A1, 2 Framesby High; AR section: 1 Phoenix Fireballs, 2 Phoenix Flames; B section: 1 Aloes, 2 Madibaz B; C section: 1 Madibaz C1, 2 Blue Jays; D section: 1 Lovers Lane, 2 Madibaz D1
Men: 1 JCNC (Johannesburg), 2 Phoenix