The majority of the SPAR Proteas netball team will be in action when the players turn out for their respective institutions at the national university championships in Port Elizabeth later this month.

NMMU will play host to the University Sport South Africa (Ussa) tournament, which will see 36 teams from 34 universities doing battle between June 30 and July 4.

The South Campus indoor courts in Summerstrand will be the venue for the A-section games, while the pool B and C games will take place on the North Campus courts.

SPAR Madibaz netball manager Theresa le Roux said the A section would be hotly contested as the top eight teams would qualify for a spot in this year’s edition of the televised Varsity Netball competition.

“The top six teams in this section form the Super league, while the bottom half constitute the Premier league.”

Le Roux said the 12 universities would play each other on a round-robin format, with the bottom two Super teams then playing off against the top two Premier sides to determine the top eight overall.

The host team has yet to earn their maiden victory in the competition but will receive high-level guidance from assistant coach and South Africa’s most-capped player Zanele Mdodana.

Le Roux said the odds-on favourites for the title would be defending champions Kovsies (University of the Free State), with strong challenges from the likes of Tuks (University of Pretoria) and Pukke (North-West University).

“The Proteas are fresh from a three-match test series against Scotland in Cape Town, so the public can look forward to some fantastic netballing performances.”

SPAR Eastern Cape advertising and promotions manager Wendy Westraadt said the retailer was proud to be involved with another top-flight netball tournament after assisting with the international Diamond Challenge and Tri-Nations series in the metro late last year.

“We are committed to the development of women’s sport and we’re pleased to play a supporting role in netball at both a local and national level.”

SPAR Madibaz squad: Arne Rust (c), Kara Willemse, Eileen van Zyl, Bavu Matyumza, Nandipha Jack, Siphokazi Mapakati, Natasja Fox, Danielle Hofsetter, Nobu Phuza, Hlumisa Sithonga and Zanele Vimbela.

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The SPAR Madibaz netball team will be one of 36 teams from 34 universities contesting the University Sport South Africa (Ussa) tournament from June 30 to July 4 at NMMU in Port Elizabeth. Photo: Supplied

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