After four Netball World Cups and three Commonwealth Games, SPAR Proteas Captain Bongiwe “Bongi” Msomi has announced her retirement from netball as a player.

Msomi joined the SPAR Proteas in 2011 at the age of 23 and assumed the captaincy in 2016 until her retirement in 2023. She led the team during the 2019 and 2023 Netball World Cups in Liverpool and Cape Town, respectively.

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“The decision to retire comes after careful consideration. But I am so grateful that I can make this announcement with a full heart, knowing that I leave the SPAR Proteas and South African netball in a very healthy space,” she said. 

“I am eternally grateful to all the coaches, colleagues, and teammates who have played instrumental roles during my career. There are too many to mention, but you know who you are! Thisha (Mr SG Mncwabe), I will forever thank you for seeing the talent in me and going the extra mile to make sure I become more than just an athlete in netball,” said SPAR Proteas Captain Bongiwe Msomi.

Captain Bongi Msomi has announced her retirement from Netball
Bongi Msomi

BONGI MSOMI OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES HER RETIREMENT 

She leaves the game of netball as a player with 171 caps under her belt and is currently the most-capped player in the history of the team thus far. Msomi also played in Australia for Adelaide Thunderbirds and in England for Surrey Storm and Wasp before returning home to coach the University of Johannesburg and playing for Gauteng Golden Fireballs in the Telkom Netball League.

“Bongi has been a great role model for netball both as a player and coach. I think everyone who is in netball can relate to and know who Bongi is. It is quite sad for me to see her retire; however, I am proud of what she has been able to achieve and who she has become. Being one of our longest-serving captains and the most capped player is a milestone we can never take lightly.

“I think as a federation, we need to look at how we archive the experience that our senior players – on behalf of the federation, we would like to wish Boh everything of the best. She might be done playing, but the door is open for her here; this is home for her,” said Cecilia Molokwane, Netball South Africa President.

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Msomi concluded by saying “I would like to make a special mention of coach Norma Plummer, who took lots of time away from home (at her age) to be of such great influence in our country.

“You are such an inspiration to me, and you definitely kept me going on the court much longer than I thought I might have. From you, I learned how to lead selflessly, as well as to see, love and understand the in-depth part of coaching, and to appreciate the sport even more,” she said. 

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for netball in our country. You and your team have been awesome. Of course, a special thank you also has to go to my wonderful family and my partner Raeesa, who have supported me every step of the way on this journey.”

After an illustrious nine-year career as a professional player, veteran SPAR Proteas player Phumza Maweni has decided to retire from her netball journey. Maweni started playing professional netball at the age of 28. She has gone on to achieve a lot of success for herself on the court.

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This was starting off playing for the Southern Stings in the then Brutal Fruit Netball League (now Telkom Netball League). She played for some of the best teams overseas, namely Loughborough Lightning, Severn Stars, Team Bath in the UK, and Sunshine Coast Lightning in Australia.

PHUMZA MAWENI RETIRES FROM ALL NETBALL

“I have taken the time to reflect and think,” she said. “I am sad to announce that the time has come for me to gracefully exit the court, making space for the emerging stars awaiting their chance. The unwavering support of my son and family throughout my netball journey has been invaluable, and they rightfully deserve more of my time and attention.

“Moving forward, I intend to contribute to the sport from the sidelines, fostering growth, development, and coaching for the next generation of superstars,” said outgoing SPAR Proteas legend Phumza Maweni.

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Phumza left Sunshine Coast Lightning and returned home in 2022 and played for and captained her home team, the Western Cape Southern Stings, during the 2023 Telkom Netball League.

“Phumza has been a great asset to the SPAR Proteas team and structure—a great player with exceptional netball talent and intelligence. When you consider how ‘late’ she started playing the sport, how quickly she broke into the team, and what she has been able to achieve, one can only attribute this to discipline and dedication.

“With the knowledge and experience she has acquired over the years, I think it will be wrong for us as a federation to let all of this go to waste. We need to start thinking about how we retain this knowledge and experience—we do not see her on court as a player; however, we need to find systems and structures that will enable us to utilise what Phumza has gained and knows,” said Netball South Africa President Cecilia Molokwane.

Maweni made her SPAR Proteas debut back in 2014 against Scotland, played in three Netball World Cups, and by the time she retired, she had earned herself 121 caps, with her last match being against England in December 2023.

“The past years have exceeded all expectations, transforming into a journey of a lifetime. This sport has shaped me into a confident and powerful woman, far beyond what I could have envisioned. I cherish and acknowledge every aspect of this experience,” concluded Maweni. 

The Spar Proteas eased to a 69-28 victory in their Netball World Cup Group C match against Trinidad & Tobago on Monday.

The Spar Proteas came into the match after a 67-49 loss to Jamaica on Sunday. They also came from a devastating blow with goal shooter Lenize Potgieter ruled out of the rest of the tournament due to injury.

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She was replaced by Owethu Ngubane who also travelled with the team to Cape Town as one of the reserves.

Potgieter had an operation on her right knee in July last year and underwent intense rehabilitation. She also missed the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where South Africa had to settle for sixth position.

Spar Proteas against Trinidad & Tobago

Coach Norma Plummer stuck with the same seven for the first two-quarters of the game as the Proteas took a commanding 33-15 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Nichole Taljaard moved from goal attack to goal shooter while Elmeré van der Bergh came on as goal attack.

With seven minutes to go, Ngubane earned only her second cap for South Africa when she replaced Taljaard. She scored her first goal at a World Cup in the last 30 seconds of the match.

SPAR PROTEAS EASE TO VICTORY 

Most Valuable Player: Nichole Taljaard
Goal Shooting Percentage: 82.1 per cent / 90.3 per cent
Penalty Count (Contact and Obstruction): South Africa 47 / Trinidad & Tobago 55
Quarter scores: 18-12 / 33-15 / 51-21 / 69-28

The Spar Proteas are back in action against New Zealand on Wednesday. 

The Spar Proteas kept up their dominant performance at the 2023 Netball World Cup, securing a commanding 87-32 victory over Sri Lanka at the CTICC on Saturday afternoon.  

Norma Plummer implemented four changes to the starting seven for this match, but their seamless integration on the court would have escaped your notice. The players fit together like a glove, complementing each other perfectly.  

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From the very first center pass, South Africa presented a formidable challenge for the Indian side, who struggled to score, managing only five goals in the opening ten minutes. The home team took charge and dominated the first quarter, securing a 24-9 lead.  

SRI LANKA OUTCLASSED BY SOUTH AFRICA

Meanwhile, in the second quarter, Sri Lanka came alive a bit, attempting to put up a good fight. However, the Spar Proteas maintained a comfortable lead, making even their errors go unnoticed. In the final five minutes of the quarter, the home team displayed excellent gameplay, much to the delight of their supporters who cheered from the stands. They went into the halftime break with a 27-goal lead.  

The third quarter saw Khanyisa Chawane make her way onto the court, along with Karla Pretorius, who celebrated her milestone of 100 caps. Pretorius made her presence felt in the Sri Lanka shooting circle, causing a significant impact. Nevertheless, the away team struggled once again, managing to score only six goals in this quarter.  

Spar Proteas outclass Sri Lanka
Spar Proteas in action against Sri Lanka

In the final quarter, Ine-Mari Venter entered the game as a goal shooter, prompting Elmeré van der Berg to shift to goal attack, and Nicholé Taljaard made her way out. Meanwhile, Phumza Maweni took over as goalkeeper, with Nicola Smith moving to goal defense, and Shadine van der Merwe assuming the wing defense position. With these changes, the South African side left no stone unturned as they clinched their second victory.  

The home side will return for a much-anticipated match as they take on Jamaica on Sunday at 18:00.

LINE-UP

SOUTH AFRICA: GS Elmeré van der Berg, GA Nicholé Taljaard, WA Bongiwe Msomi (c). Izette Griesel, WD Jeanté Strydom, GD Shadine van der Merwe & GK Nicola Smith

BENCH: Potgieter, Venter, Chawane, Pretorius & Maweni

SRI LANKA: GS Algama, GA Alwis, WA Wannithilake C Amarawansa (c), WD Kaludewa, GD Dissanayeke & GK Jayasooriya

BENCH: Salivangam, Lathpandurage, Hettirachchi, Wijesiri & Kandage.

By Sinolwetu Tompela 

The Spar Proteas got off to a perfect start in the 2023 Netball World Cup as they secured their 20th victory against Wales in the opening match at Cape Town International Convention Center on Friday evening.

The South African side made their intentions clear from the first whistle: they were determined to walk away victorious in this exhilarating encounter.

Right from the opening quarter, the Spar Proteas took the lead, even though they encountered some challenges in connecting with each other during the first five minutes.

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They entered the second quarter fueled with energy, maintaining their momentum and taking Wales by storm. The defense ran a tight ship, causing frustration for Wales in the shooting circle, with Karla Pretorius consistently winning the ball. Meanwhile, the mid-court enjoyed a fantastic partnership between Khanyisa Chawane and the captain, Bongi Msomi, who supplied the attacking line with superb passes. Ine-Marie Venter displayed her experience by converting opportunities with an impressive 91.5% accuracy overall. The halftime scoreline stood at 32-24.

Perfect start for Spar Proteas in Netball World Cup opener
Spar Proteas against Wales 

The Warriors continued their dominance, and in the third quarter, coach Norma Plummer made some changes. Jeanté Strydom made her debut at wing defense, and Nicholé Taljaard stepped in as the goal attack.

The closing quarter proved to be highly exciting as Wales gave their all. But without any surprises, the hosts maintained their lead and emerged victorious with a score of 61-50. In the end, Venter received the well-deserved player of the match accolade.

PERFECT START FOR SOUTH AFRICA IN NETBALL WORLD CUP OPENER

The home side will return to action tomorrow against Sri Lanka at 16:00 SA time.

LINE-UPS

SOUTH AFRICA: GS Ine-Mari Venter, GA Elmere van der Berg, WA Bongi Msomi (c), C Khanyisa Chawane, WD Shadine van der Merwe, GD Karla Pretorious & GK Phumza Maweni

BENCH: Potgieter, Taljaard, Griesel, Strydom & Smith

WALES: GS Geoegia Rowe, GA Phillipa Yarranton, WA Bethan Dyke, C Clare Jones ©, GD Ella Powell-Davies & GK Christina Shaw

BENCH: Howells, Kuti, Matthewman, O’dwyer& Watkins

By Sinolwetu Tompela

The Spar Proteas final 15-squad that will represent South Africa in the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 was announced on Friday evening at the SuperSport studios in Randburg, Gauteng.

South Africa will be hosting the World Cup in Cape Town from 28 July to 6 of August 2023. The Mzansi side is seeded in Pool C alongside Jamaica, Wales, and Sri Lanka.

RARING FOR THE NETBALL WORLD CUP

The Spar Proteas captain Bongi Msomi explained that she thinks with this kind of squad selection they stand a better chance to go far in the competition. The inclusion of experienced players, those who play abroad, and the ones who are participating in the TNL is definitely a great foundation.

“We’ve got a couple of players who have been in the 2019 world cup. Experience every now and then counts and I think at this stage it looks like almost all players are on form. And that’s what I think will probably take us through,” said Msomi.

“We know there are players who are still overseas, playing for their clubs that side that were not here today. So, I think with that and the blend of Telkom Netball League going well and competition is tight this year. Also, knowing that the girls are coming overseas on form – will give us the edge.

Spar Proteas Netball World Cup squad
Spar Proteas Netball World Cup squad

“Also knowing the squad players have been working together with coach Norma [Plummer] before doesn’t feel like this is all new but just picking up from where we left before,” she added.

Msomi went on to encourage the selected players and emphasised how the team is prepared to start working together.

“There’s also a lot of work ahead of us and there’s a lot of work that we have done this far. But we know the journey that we are embarking on is going to be a tough and exciting one. Putting on the work from day one. Yes it’s also going to be challenging. But we are ready and we are going to take it on as we go.

“We are looking forward to getting together as the squad that was called today,” She concluded.

SPAR PROTEAS SQUAD

SQUAD – Bongiwe Msomi (c), Karla Pretorius (vc) Khanyisa Chawane, Izette Griesel, Owethu Ngubane. Refiloe Nketsa, Phumza Maweni, Lenize Potgieter, Lefebre Rademan, Nicola Smith. Jeante Strydom, Nichole Taljaard, Elmere van der Berg, Shadine van der Merwe & Ine-Mari Venter.

By Sinolwetu Tompela

PUMA and Netball South Africa today unveiled the new kit that the SPAR Proteas team will wear during the 2023 season. The Spar Proteas will also wear the kit during the Vitality Netball World Cup in Cape Town in July.

South Africa will host the prestigious event with 16 nations participating in the competition from the 28th of July. Puma and Netball SA took to their social media pages on Wednesday afternoon to make the announcement.

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“We will be seeing the girls showcasing and taking on the World in a beautiful kit that has meaning,” said NSA President Cecilia Molokwane.

“It all says that we’re United Warriors. This kit talks about our diversity in the country, the code of arms, how united we are as a country, and what sports can do in this country,” she added. 

The Spar Proteas players with Netball SA President Cecilia Molokwane.
The Spar Proteas players with Netball SA President Cecilia Molokwane

PUMA SA LAUNCHES NEW SPAR PROTEAS KIT 

Brett Bellinger Director of Marketing from PUMA also further explained the insight behind this kind of design.  

“I think over the past seasons we’ve been involved with Netball South Africa. We have always been inspired by the Protea on the kit and we have done graphic references to that.

The new Spar Proteas Kit for the Netball World Cup designed by PUMA
The new Spar Proteas Kit for the Netball World Cup designed by PUMA

“We thought we can’t do the same kind of thing for the world cup and for this kit. For us this is the most important piece that we’ve done for the team,” he said.

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“And we wanted to evolve our story telling a bit, be able to tell a narrative that moves beyond just the team by the kit. It needs to say something unifying South Africa, what the team stands for as well and to inspire them and the public to get behind the team,” he added.

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The SPAR Proteas will begin their 2023 international netball campaign in Cape Town later this month as they take on top three ranked countries for this year’s Quad Series.

Norma Plummer who returned to the hot seat as head coach of the SPAR Proteas used the SPAR Diamond Challenge series that took place in November last year to assess players who will represent South Africa.

NETBALL SA CONFIDENT OF THE CHOOSEN 15

“As a federation, we are extremely proud of the amount of hard work, commitment and dedication shown by the players. Every time the team took to court, you could see that they were showing up for one another and the country. I have complete confidence in the team and believe that we have chosen the best fifteen for the current task. I am certain that they will deliver for the country,” said Netball South Africa President Cecilia Molokwane.

The team took a three week break mid-December and will be assembling again on Monday, 09th January 2023 in Stellenbosch to get ready and finalise preparations for the series.

“The test series against Zimbabwe and Scotland was great competition as it allowed us to look at players and choose the ones who would be selected for the Quad Series. We have assembled a very competitive team which will be great to watch as they take on the top three ranked nations in the world and gauge where the team is. I do believe that we have a lot of work to do on our journey to the World Cup, said Norma Plummer, SPAR Proteas head coach.

Spar Proteas squad
Spar Proteas squad

Plummer believes that a lot of work still needs to be done ahead of the World Cup. She hopes that the eight players who will be playing overseas will get the much-needed experience and game time.

Karla Pretorius makes a well anticipated return to the team after a fifteen-month long absence from the team. She also last played for the SPAR Proteas against Northern Ireland in 2021.

Unfortunately, due to injury both Nicola Smith and Elmere van der Berg were not selected for this series. However the medical team is working closely with them and monitoring their rehabilitation process.

SPAR PROTEAS SQUAD:

Lenize Potgieter; Ine-Marí Venter; Nicholé Taljaard; Nomfundo Mngomezulu; Sesandile Ngubane; Bongiwe Msomi (C); Khanyisa Chawane; Izette Griesel; Refiloe Nketsa; Boitumelo Mahloko; Phumza Maweni; Karla Pretorius; Shadine van der Merwe (VC); Zanele Vimbela; Monique Reyneke – Meyer

Fixtures:

21st Jan 2023

16:00 – South Africa vs New Zealand

18:00 – Australia vs England

22nd Jan 2023

16:00 – South Africa vs England

18:00 – Australia vs New Zealand

24th Jan 2023

16:00 – England vs New Zealand

18:00 – South Africa vs Australia

25th Jan 2023

16:00 3rd & 4th Play offs

18:00 FINALS