A young emerging netball star, Owethu Ngubane, at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has been announced in the final squad selection for the upcoming Vitality Netball World Cup. Ngubane made her debut for the SPAR Proteas in the game against Australia in the 2023 Quad Series in January this year.
Together with her UJ Netball Club Manager and Coach, Bongiwe Msomi, the two will represent South Africa when more 16 teams descend to the Mother City (Cape Town) for the World Cup showdown in July and August. Ngubane (21) is a student-athlete who hails from the KwaZulu Natal Province.
She joined the UJ Netball Club in 2021 and has since been representing the University well in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) and FNB Varsity Netball tournaments in the previous two years. She also plays in the Telkom Netball League.
Earlier this year, there were four UJ netball players in the SPAR Proteas squad that went on a three-week camp in Cape Town in March, but only two have made the final selection. The other two players were the talented Nomfundo Mngomezulu (from KZN) and Boitumelo Mahloko (from Limpopo Province).
Msomi is the current SPAR Proteas who has competed in various local and global tournaments and leagues. She is also the official African Ambassador for the Netball World Cup. “I am so excited for what will happen next, and at the same time I’m a bit sad for the girls who couldn’t make the squad. I mean you can only imagine what they’re going through now,” said Msomi after the squad announcement.
Her national career ignited in 2011 when she made her SPAR Proteas debut in the World Netball Championships in Singapore. Since then, she progressed through the team ranks, becoming deputy in 2013 and eventually captain in 2016. Due to her prowess showcased in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014, Msomi was offered a contract to play for the Surrey Storm by coach Tamsin Greenway. Later, she moved to the Wasps with the same coach.
In both years, the teams won the league. She spent two years in Australia playing for the Adelaide Thunderbirds before returning to England to play for the Wasps.
The Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 (VNWC2023 will run from the 28 July to 6 August in Cape Town. It will be the first time that the Netball World Cup is organised on the continent on Africa.