Netball stars need help for national event

LOCAL TALENT: Netball players Asavela Mbewu, left and Siwamkele Makhumsha seek donations as they are set to represent the Eastern Cape at a national tournament Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

Two netball players from Bulelani Senior Secondary School are set to represent Eastern Cape U16 in the South African Netball all-ages national tournament in Boksburg on October 2.

But the trip is only a dream unless goal-attack Asavela Mbewu and wing defence Siwamkele Makhumsha can find sponsors.

School netball coach Zanele Wambu said this was an annual tournament that helped to promote the sport in schools. Each player needed R6 300 to cover kit, transport and accommodation. So far they had together only managed to source R5 200 from local businesses and had R7 400 to go.

There was a training camp in Gqeberha for all ages, when 20 were selected and called on the Komani community to rally behind the players.

NEED A HAND: Bulelani Senior Secondary School netball players need help to go to the South African netball all ages tournament. From left are team manager Yolisa Matanzima, wing defence Siwamkele Makhumsha, coach Zanele Wambu and goal attack Asavela Mbewu Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWA

“We hope they do not miss out on this great opportunity because of money issues. They do not have proper netball courts and they do not have to practise daily. They are talented. There are few pupils from disadvantaged schools who get to the level of representing the province.”

Team manager Yolisa Matanzima said they would appreciate the assistance of the business community and thanked those who had made contributions.

Bulelani is a no-fee school which makes it difficult to fund the trip.

Matanzima said members of the public were welcome to donate and netball development was crucial for pupils from rural schools.

Mbewu said: “My goal is to succeed by making the national netball team.”

Makhumsha said: “I love netball. It can assist me to develop into a better version of myself who will be able to compete in high-level South African teams.”