Cape Town — The week-long annual Spar National Netball Championships, starting in Bellville, Cape Town, on Monday has been dealt a hammer blow following the withdrawal of the Tshwane Senior and Tshwane Under-21 teams.
After Covid tests were conducted on players and management, two players tested positive. In the past few days, players started showing Covid -19 Omnicron symptoms. As a consequence, the Tshwane Netball executive advised their mother body, Gauteng Netball, of the decision made to withdraw the team in fear of compromising the event and for the safety of individuals.
The Tshwane contingent have been advised to isolate and monitor for further symptoms.
Riana Bezuidenhout, the president of Gauteng Netball, said it was deeply disappointing that Tshwane would not be able to defend their titles. However, she felt the safety and health should never be compromised.
"It will be the first time in history that Tshwane will not be able to participate and again defend their title this year," said Bezuidenhout. "It is paramount that the safety of all players & management will not be compromised at any stage. The mitigation plan of the district is quite clear and provided guidance in this decision."
Around 50 teams will be competing in the senior division and some 40 teams at the Under-21 level. The tournament will be played at the DF Academy and ends on Saturday.