DELPORT APPLAUDS TELKOM NETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP AS STEPPINGSTONE FOR YOUNG PLAYERS

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As the curtain drew to a close at the fast-becoming popular Telkom Netball Championship (TNC), with three champion school teams crowned across three age categories.

 

 

Amongst those who walk away with silverware and bragging rights are Jenni-lee Delport and her chargers, Gauteng’s Delta. Delta took gold in the under-17 division, with the Jaguars (Free State) grabbing silver as Ndlovu, from host province Mpumalanga, kept home bronze medals.

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Delport, who is no stranger to coaching, having mentored Telkom Netball League (TNL) sides for six years, was making her TNC debut at the tournament held at Hoërskool Generaal Hertzog. Offering her team, a wealth of technical knowledge and game ingenuity to the next generation of young netball stars.

 

“To be afforded the opportunity to coach such talented young players at school level has been my favourite highlight of the 2022 TNC tournament, and for us all to stand side-by-side and sing our National Anthem before taking court in the final will remain a special memory for many years to come,”

she remarked.

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The Hoërskool Menlopark under-15 coach has been in her profession since the age of 16, dedicating more than 19 years of her professional life to coaching and developing netball skills across South Africa. A career that has culminated in Delport leading TNL side, Gauteng Golden Fireballs, who also won the 2022 TNL.

 

It was this experience that the Pretoria born Delport used to guide her side to a 10 point victory over Free State’s Jaguars.

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Speaking on her side’s strategy, Delport said:

“I knew it was not going to be an easy tournament. To be able to win this tournament meant that we will have to make sure we win each and every match (no matter the margin) - and that is what we ended up doing.”

 

“I was slightly concerned about facing Namibia, as they have a very strong and well-rounded side. After our victory in our second last match, it meant we secured a place in the final and that felt surreal, as it meant we would have a medal no matter the outcome in the final - however it was clear that my team came for the gold medal and nothing else!”

the victorious coach concluded.

 

Delport has seen it all during her illustrious career and as a coach who has led high-performance teams, she is acutely aware of what it takes to build a bustling developmental pipeline. 

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“Without sponsors like Telkom, tournaments’ like these would not be as successful nor influential in the development of the sport across the country. Much gratitude goes to the brand and all other sponsors, for being proud partners of netball in South Africa.”

Delta’s coach remarked, paying homage to the tournament’s title sponsor.

 

“This competition offers our girls the opportunity to fall in love with the sport, learning to compete against their peers whilst also being inspired by the opportunity to be scouted by universities looking for new talent to join their ranks. This is motivation that we have seen raise the standard of competition and as a coach, it is beautiful to see”

Delport concluded.

 

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The conclusion of the 2022 Telkom Netball Championship means the nation’s attention and that of the entire world is zoning in on South Africa as the final countdown to the Netball World Cup begins. The 2023 extravaganza will be on our shores and everybody in the netball world is excited about the times ahead.

 

“We have an exciting five-year period ahead, hosting the World Cup in 2023 followed by the under-21 World Cup in 2025, events that can continue to open doors for young and upcoming, and deserving players. The kind of boost that the sport in South Africa so deserves,”

 

“To say I am excited about the World Cup IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT - I still cannot believe we are the host nation! I believe our country will do us proud, both on and off the court!”

Delport concludes.

 

TOURNAMENT RESULTS:

Dr. Kenneth Kaunda took gold in the under-19 division, with Cape Winelands grabbing silver ahead of Tshwane who received bronze. The under-18 division gold went home with Cedars (Western Cape) as Delta (Gauteng) took silver and Willows (Western Cape) going home with bronze. 

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You can watch highlights of the 2022 Telkom Netball Championships through the SuperSport schools platform, to see how Telkom is helping make netball an accessible sport for all girls and women in South Africa.

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