SIBONGILE MTHABELA

The Netball Grand Series (NGS) started in South Africa on 15 April and will end in July 2011. The NGS was formed by Dr Elsje Jordaan, a renowned sports science, administration and coaching specialist as well as a former Protea netball captain

Under the banner of her Sportisimo company, Jordaan has grown sports participation nationally in various sports, especially netball. Jordaan’s skills, experience and passion for the sport had led to the birth of the Netball Grand Series.

Whilst netball is the highest participation sport amongst women in South Africa, it still has to fight for recognition within the sporting arena. The NGS will aim to become the flagship premier competition on the netball calendar in the future, not only providing a national premier league but also a schools’ competition that will ultimately become the talent identification programme for the SA national team.

There are eight teams in the league which include Lightning Roses (Free State), Black Diamonds (Gauteng Central), Red Kestrels (Northwest Province), Ibhayi Gales (Nelson Mandela Bay), Kingdom Queens (Kwazulu-Natal), Starlight Jets (Gauteng East) and the Galaxy Blues (Gauteng North).These teams will compete to claim the title as the country’s most elite netball team.   

The Galaxy Blues team is based at the University of Pretoria which is where all their training sessions take place and home games are played. Galaxy Blues is synonymous with Gauteng North Netball. There are five Protea players in the team: Erin Burger, Amanda Mynhardt, Leigh-Ann Zackey, Chrisna Botha and Vanes-Mari du Toit. The head coach is Elize Kotze. The Proteas will represent South Africa at the Netball World Cup 2011 in Singapore in July. The Galaxy Blues is currently first on the log.

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