Cape Town - Cape Town has officially picked up the baton as the next host city for the Netball World Cup.
Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith represented the City of Cape Town on Sunday night when the International Netball Federation (INF) flag was presented to team South Africa, signalling the start of the journey to 2023.
South Africa were one of the top performers at the 2019 event and are now ranked among the top four netball nations in the world.
"The City of Cape Town is very proud of the South African netball team's brilliant performance at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool. They played with heart and soul and made it to the semi-finals for the first time. The team finished fourth; better than countries with more experience and positions on the world rankings. We congratulate them and look forward to the tournament in 2023, when South Africa will play on home soil," said Alderman Smith.
"Through the 2023 Netball World Cup, we aim to further lift the profile of the sport, and the talented players. Sport allows many young people to create a brighter future for themselves and we are committed to supporting this goal. The City of Cape Town has hosted many large-scale sporting events and we are confident that this event will also be a resounding success," added Executive Mayor Dan Plato.
In March, Cape Town was announced as the host city for the Netball World Cup in 2023 after a successful inter-governmental bid which included the national and provincial governments as well as Netball South Africa.
Alderman Smith was part of a South African delegation which presented the plans for the 2023 World Cup to the INF Congress in Liverpool.
"It is an honour for us to officially take our place as the next host city for the Netball World Cup. There is a lot of hard work and preparations that will take place over the next four years. It is important that the City, provincial government and national government support the Netball World Cup in 2023 with the same enthusiasm that was demonstrated for the FIFA World Cup as netball is the largest women's sport in the world. With our excellent infrastructure, and world-class facilities to stage these events, we have assured the INF Congress of our capabilities in delivering a world-class spectacle, filled with a lot of gees," said Alderman Smith.
The 2023 Netball World Cup will be the first tournament hosted on African soil in the competition's 50-year history.
"In addition to the economic benefits that will come with hosting this event, the Netball World Cup opens up opportunities to elevate the status of Netball as a national sport in the long run. This will also provide means for the development of the sport at grassroots level and nurture the next cohort of national sportswomen. The event will leave behind a powerful legacy of facilities for the development of sport which plays an important role in giving hope and opportunities to aspiring champions across our city," added Alderman Smith.
Last month, Cape Town successfully hosted the Under-19 National Championship which featured 37 teams from across the country.
There are plans to host several other events leading up to the 2023 Netball World Cup.
South Africa finished fourth at the 2019 Netball World Cup which concluded in Liverpool on Sunday.
The South African team went down by two goals to defending champions Australia in the semi-finals. They were beaten in the playoff for the bronze medal by hosts England.
New Zealand shocked Australia in the final to be crowned champions.