Meet Letsatsi, the official mascot for the 2023 Netball World Cup to be staged in Cape Town, South Africa, next year. Letsatsi is a meerkat and the creation of 11-year-old Violet Cassidy, from Manchester, England.
The announcement of the official mascot comes following a competition that was held, with the theme being “What does netball mean to me”. There was a resounding response with entries coming from all parts of the world, and the judges finally decided that the 11-year-old Cassidy had created the winning design.
In her entry, Violet had said: “Netball brings me happiness. I have chosen a meerkat because meerkats work together as a team and are native to South Africa.”. In recognition of the fact that meerkats are one of the few species capable of collaborating, the mascot was designed to keep the world united in order to make this prestigious event stand out and be truly memorable.
The 2023 Netball World Cup will be the first to be held on the African continent, and the name “Letsatsi” is a South African word and translated means “sun”, to honour the country’s bright future. The hashtag #ItsTimeForAfricaToShine further re-inforces the theme. The NWC is certain to usher in a new dawn for netball and allow the sun to rise for many of Africa’s women and young girls.
As meerkats are beautiful in nature, Letsatsi was designed to reflect both the awe-inspiring beauty of South Africa as a country and Africa as a continent. The beauty of the host country is reflected through its nature, various cultures and its rich history. But most of all, the natural beauty of the country is what sets it apart from others.
Letsatsi is fluffy in appearance with dark ears and large eyes surrounded by dark patches. She has mascot animal feet with rubber soles. Her tail has a dark tip made of various colours which include the colours of the tournament. Her multi-coloured dress was inspired by the World Cup’s celebration of the sunrise across the African sky. She represents the cultures of South Africa and Africa by wearing colourful beads on her hands, feet and neck.
Meerkats have captured the attention of television and film audiences around the world because of their endearing appearance and interesting social behaviour, just like the sport of Netball has captured the attention of its audience across the world.
Besides being beautiful, Letsatsi has an interesting social behaviour. Netball is her favourite sport and she views it as an excellent way to connect with others. Her passion for the sport is reflected in the fact that she always carries Kganya – the official 2023 Netball World Cup ball – around with her so she can play with people wherever she goes.
To further create excitement for the first Netball World Cup to be held on the African continent, she radiates positive vibes and energy for all netball fans. The young and energetic Letsatsi is looking forward to meeting millions of people from around the globe at the 2023 Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa.