Baby Spar Proteas complete a double over Zambia and Tanzania

netball17 March 2024 19:42
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© Netball SA

Two weeks after the official appointment of Precious Mthembu as the Baby Spar Proteas head coach together with Phumza Maweni, the duo's first assignment was the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 Regional Qualifiers in Pretoria.

South Africa last played at the Netball World Youth Cup some eight years ago and this is an opportunity for them to make a return there come September next year in Gibraltar. The Baby Spar Proteas opened the first match day with an encounter against Tanzania.

The team was playing for the first time together since they were assembled – it was the hosts who were very quick to send a clear message to their opponents as soon as the whistle went off. The Baby Spar Proteas restricted Tanzania to only scoring seven goals over an entire match while they put 75 past them.

The win for South Africa was a great confidence booster ahead of their second match of the day against Zambia to close off the first day of play. It was difficult to choose who would be the player of the match from the South African side as all the players that took to the court were outstanding. In the end, it was Sanmarie Visser who was voted Player of the Match.

The second match of the day was a battle between Kenya and Zimbabwe, with both teams also seeking to secure their seat at next year’s Netball World Youth Cup. Unlike the first match, this was a bit more competitive with both teams going at each other. In the end, it was Zimbabwe who came out on top, winning the match 49-39.

Malawi squared off against Namibia in the third match of the day. Malawi was the stronger of the two sides. The team from Malawi were not about to become another side to lose a game on the opening day. They gave their Namibian counterparts a run for their money as they thrashed them 43-28.

Games took a break to make for the official opening ceremony of the tournament. The event was attended by a few government dignitaries from both the municipality and provincial levels.


The last match of the day saw hosts South Africa take on Zambia.

Coach Precious made a few changes to her starting seven and gave some of the players who didn’t play a chance to shine in the second encounter.

The Baby Spar Proteas got off the starting blocks very quickly and converted their chances as early as possible in the match. Zambia only drew blood after four minutes – with the Baby Spar Proteas' defence and discipline keeping Zambia at bay. 

At the end of the first quarter, South Africa had a lead of 23-4, and in the second quarter, they had extended their lead to 35-7. At the end of the match, it was the Baby Spar Proteas that emerged as the victors, winning the match 72-9.

© Netball SA