Organisers of the Netball World Cup 2023 have reacted with pride at the news that the tournament has been shortlisted for the Sports Business Awards in the “Best Sporting Event of the Year 2023” category.
World Netball’s flagship event, the Netball World Cup, was staged on African soil for the first time, when South Africa played host to the 2023 competition at Cape Town’s International Convention Centre from 28 July to 6 August.
Australia regained the title when they beat England in the final, while Jamaica claimed the bronze medal.
The chairperson of the Netball World Cup 2023 Board, Patience Shikwambana, expressed her delight at the news of the prestigious award nomination.
“To be shortlisted as best sporting event in the Sports Business Awards is a terrific moment not only for me and our Board but also the Netball World Cup LOC, the fans and country as a whole.
“South Africa has proved time and time again that we are capable of successfully staging the world’s biggest sporting events and it’s a proud moment for me as Board Chairperson to reflect on the success of the Netball World Cup and its important contribution to the promotion, growth and development of netball and sport in South African, Africa and the world.”
In her reaction, the NWC 2023 Tournament Director, Priscilla Masisi, acknowledged: “We are extremely proud to have learnt that the 2023 Netball World Cup has been nominated as the best sporting event of the year in the Sports Business Awards.
“This nomination testifies that my team’s dedicated hard work over the past months in ensuring the success of the tournament is recognised. We must also thank our partners and sponsors who worked hand in hand with us in delivering this tournament. Lastly, the hundreds of volunteers who assisted in servicing each division of the tournament must be applauded for their important part in the overall success of the event. “
In adding her voice to the news of the award nomination, the president of Netball SA and NWC2023 Board member, Cecilia Molokwane, said: “This nomination means a lot to all of us because we did what has never been done before. We hosted a Netball World Cup for the first time in South Africa and the continent, that on its own is a huge success. A nomination on its own is a big enough win for us. On behalf of all the partners, I’d like to thank every single person who played a role in making sure that we deliver what we did – as a country we should be very proud of this achievement.”
The success of the event exceeded expectations and was the culmination of four years of planning by WN, NWC2023 (Local Organising Committee) and Netball South Africa.
Highlights of the event included it having the most successful commercial programme in NWC history. Sponsorship sales were double that achieved for Netball World Cup 2019, whilst rights to broadcast the matches live were sold in all the major netball nations, with fans in all other countries able to sign up to watch on WN’s NetballPass OTT platform.
On social media, some 109,437 social media posts referencing the NWC2023 reached a further 3.3-billion impressions, and social media videos referencing the event generated 12.1-million views.
The impact on the ground was just as great, with 63 free fan parks and 30 viewing centres across the nine South African provinces bringing the event to everyone in the country while the host broadcaster SuperSport also made history as the NWC2023 was recorded and produced by an all-women crew.
Shikwambana concluded: “On behalf of the NWC2023 Board and entire Team, we convey our profound appreciation to all Stakeholders, Partners and Sponsors that enabled the Organising Team and rainbow nation to deliver a successful World Cup. We wouldn’t have made it this far without the guidance, support and assistance from WN, NSA, our Government, Sponsors and all partners. We are forever grateful for the gesture in ensuring that our women staged the best-ever event in South Africa.”
Speaking on the award shortlisting, World Netball CEO, Clare Briegal, said: “We are thrilled that the Netball World Cup 2023 has been shortlisted for such a prestigious award.
“Africa was the only continent yet to host a Netball World Cup, and by awarding the right to host the Netball World Cup 2023 to Netball South Africa, World Netball demonstrated its commitment to delivering growth.
“Netball SA, the NWC2023 Local Organising Committee, and the whole of Africa embraced this opportunity and staged an incredible Netball World Cup opening up netball to a wider audience than ever before. Thank you to everyone involved who made it a true success.”