World Netball president hails first African NWC

President of World Netball Dame Liz Nicholl DBE is looking forward to experiencing the African character of a Netball World Cup being held on the continent for the first time.

Speaking to Netball World Cup 2023 (NWC2023) host broadcaster SuperSport after her arrival in Cape Town for the tournament, which gets under way in the city on Friday.

Nicholl said: “The very first Netball World Cup was held in Eastbourne in England in 1963 and here we are now 60 years later celebrating the very first Netball World Cup being held on African soil, here in Cape Town and we’re looking forward to a truly spectacular event.

“We’ve been across four other continents of our netball world in previous World Cups and on every occasion the Netball World Cup is quite unique in character, so everyone is looking forward to seeing and feeling the African character throughout this Netball World Cup this week.”

The Netball World Cup has been hosted in England, Australia, Jamaica, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Scotland, and Singapore but never in an African country.

Nicholl also hailed the growth of the sport on the continent with South Africa, Malawi and Uganda all featuring in the top 10 of the World Netball World Rankings.

“There’s a huge following of netball, particularly in Africa and the African nations who are doing so well at the very highest level of international netball in terms of the numbers now that have world rankings and a number towards the top of our rankings,” she said.

“So, we know it’s a very special sport, it’s got a great following here in Africa amongst lots of communities and a significant number of nations and the same is happening across our world.

“The growth of netball is a key strategic focus for our sport… grow, play and inspire are the three themes of our strategic plan at World Netball.”

South Africa remain the only African country to have reached the podium at the Netball World Cup – their best result a silver medal on their return to international competition at the 1995 tournament in Birmingham.

Malawi’s best result is fifth place at the 2007 event where they famously beat South Africa in the playoff stage, and Uganda’s best is seventh, while Zimbabwe put in an impressive performance in their debut Netball World Cup performance in 2019, finishing in eighth place.

Nicholl herself knows all about performing on the sport’s greatest stage. In addition to her remarkable career in sports administration, she was capped 22 for Wales, playing at two World Championships (as the tournament was previously known) between 1975 and 1981.

The NWC2023 takes place from 28 July to 6 August at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Details on tickets and travel packages and more information on the Netball World Cup 2023 are all available on the official tournament website ( with a range of tickets and packages still on offer.

Photo: President of World Netball Dame Liz Nicholl