Feb 7, 2005


Thousands of grade seven learners stand to win national acclaim as the nation’s young sport heroes, by competing in the Shoprite Checkers / USSASA National Under-13 Netball Championships, launched today (Monday, 7 February 2005) by Shoprite in association with the United School Sport Association of South Africa. 

Announcing a sponsorship of R1-million to fund the development of South Africa’s biggest women’s sport in 2005, Shoprite’s group marketing director, Brian Weyers, explained: “Promoting sport among South Africa’s youth, especially girls, makes sense to us at Shoprite if you consider that 90% of our 39-million monthly shoppers are indeed women.” 

The 2005 Shoprite Checkers / USSASA National Under-13 Netball Championships is the continuation of an R10-million sponsorship by Shoprite over the past seven years, and involves parents, teachers and communities in highly competitive junior sport. 

USSASA Netball President, Di Woolley, commented: “Shoprite’s sponsorship of junior netball these past seven years has impacted significantly on the development of school sport, and just serves to show the conducive role the private sector can play in developing South Africa’s young talent.” 

South Africa’s 18,000 primary schools nationwide are invited to enter their Under-13 teams into the championships by submitting entry forms, available from all USSASA regional representatives, to organisers, by no later than Friday, 25 March 2005. You may also enter electronically on the Shoprite Checkers / USSASA Under-13 Netball Championships website.

Certificates of Entry will be issued to all registered teams, who will compete in regional playoffs in the second school term, with the 44 top teams competing in the district finals. 

Then, on Wednesday 18 May 2005, the TV programme will be launched at McCauley House in Johannesburg, marking the commencement of the Provincial Shoprite Checkers / USSASA Under-13 Netball Championships between merit and development (previously disadvantaged) team from all nine provinces. 

The Championship culminates in a nail-biting national final being played at Hoërskool President in Johannesburg on National Women’s Day, 9 August 2005. The provincial and national finals will be seen on the big screen on SABC’s Saturday youth programme, SportsBuzz, starting 28 May until 20 August 2005. 

This major development initiative for women’s sport in South Africa will expose the young sport heroines of our big cities and remote rural areas, and has already enabled thousands of young women to play top Netball at high school, provincial and national level. 

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