Aug 24, 2004
In a couplet of nail-biting final matches, the young netball stars from merit school Fontainebleau Primary in Johannesburg and development school Roseview Primary in Bloemfontein took the victors' gold medals in the National finals of the Shoprite Checkers / USSASA National Under-13 Netball Championships on Saturday, 21 August 2004.
Worthy contenders in the development section of the games were the Western Cape's own Sakumlandela Primary winning silver and Gauteng's Itemogele a worthy bronze, and in the merit section North West Province's Rustenburg Primary won silver and Free State's President Brand winning bronze.
The national championships between 18 merit and development netball teams from all over South Africa took place on Friday and Saturday, 20-22 August 2004 at the Oliver Thambo in-door Stadium in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Officials from the Department of Cultural Affairs & Sport, Western Cape Department of Education and City of Cape Town were joined by celebrated actress-cum-cabaret artiste-cum-television-producer, Natalia da Rocha, in cheering the young stars on from the sidelines.
Close runners-up in the semi-final matches of the Shoprite Checkers / USSASA National Under-13 Netball Championships were Mpumalanga's Ingwenyama Primary in the development section and merit school Newton from the Northern Cape, who just missed the best-three medal spots.
The Shoprite Checkers Primary Schools' Netball Challenge under the auspices of USSASA is designed to enable talented players to go on to play Netball at high school, provincial and national level, while allowing parents, teachers and whole communities to become involved in the process.
At the opening ceremony of the 2004 National Finals, the young netball stars from all across rural and urban South Africa were entertained by Nur Abrahams performing "Welcome to Cape Town", with children's songs from backup artist, Mansoor, as well as a performance by 2003 "Top Five" Idol Nazneen Leeman and the Hlengisa Primary Dance troupe.
The sponsorship in excess of R1 million by South Africa's largest supermarket group, Shoprite, funds a national Under-13 netball championship for millions of young girls attending the country's 20 000 primary schools. The Shoprite sponsorship is the continuation of an R9 million sponsorship over the last six years to develop Netball, the largest women's sport in the country, from a young age.
President of USSASA's Netball, Di Woolley comments on the significant impact that the Shoprite sponsorship has had on the development of youth Netball in South Africa: "This year has seen great strides in the professional level of play as seen on the courts over the past weekend's play, and we are content to see the important role these Under-13 championships play in further strengthening Netball as a leading sport in our schools."
SABC Top Sport's exclusive junior sports developmental programme, Sportsbuzz, features inserts on the championships every Sunday on SABC 1's Ses'fikile at 15h00. The matches are re-broadcast Fridays at 14h00 on SportsBuzz (SABC 2), Saturdays at 05h30 on YO.TV (SABC 1), Sundays at 17h30 on SABC Africa (DSTV) and the following Fridays at 17h27 just after R.U.N. The Adventure (SABC 2).
Issued by Lani Botha @ 082 546 8844
Office (011) 465 5225
On behalf of the Shoprite group