Premier netball league takes centre stage

LET THE GAMES BEGIN: Dumisani Chauke (Limpopo coach), Kudzi Mathabire (Free State Crinums), vice-captain Alicia Puren, Netball South Africa president Mimi Mthethwa-Zulu and Tshina Mdau, of the Gauteng Jaquars. Photo: Annette van Schalkwyk.

THE Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League (BFNPL) will take place over eight weeks, starting on April 21 in Durban.

Ten teams from nine provinces will battle it out in Durban, Cape Town and Bloemfontein. Round eight will be played on June 10 and 11, in Bloemfontein, followed by the semi-finals and finals.

The format of the BFNPL has changed and now offers participants exciting benefits.

The brand’s commitment to changing the perception of women’s sport and elevating the standard of netball has been raised to greater heights.

The BFNPL is the sport’s flagship competition in South Africa and underlines the phenomenal growth of the sport in recent years. Most importantly, the fourth edition of the tournament indicates another step towards the goal of a fully-professional netball league.

The winners of the premier league will compete in the super club championships, in New Zealand, where the team will get a taste for international playing conditions and further enhance their skills. The runners-up will walk away with a cash prize of R150 000. Netball South Africa and Brutal Fruit will also make 22 bursaries available for players selected from the ten provinces.

The marketing manager for Redds and Brutal Fruit, Kudzi Mathabire, said: “We are committed to the players through a study programme and also pay a weekly participation fee of R750 per player to further motivate players, and to show our support and commitment to them.”

TROPHY ON OFFER: Which team will be the winner of the BFNPL? Alicia Puren and Tshina Mdau have their eye on the coveted trophy. Photo: Annette van Schalkwyk.

“We are fully committed to ensuring the empowerment of women in sport and will endeavour to continue finding creative ways of ensuring that we take this programme to greater heights and long term success,” said Mathabire.

“We are thrilled at how well the league has done for the past four years and this is why we are encouraged by the new and exciting benefits that we will be implementing in the new season.”

Tsina Mdau, a player from the Gauteng Jaguars, said she was disappointed not to be selected to the premier league in the first year she took part. “Last year, I played in the premier league for the first time and then realised that all the players in the country are looking up to this league and want to play in it. I think the premier league develops you into a stronger player and you work hard because of the prizes on offer.”

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Annette van Schalkwyk

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