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Sport at Backward Point Winter Netball Festival – Great Success

Young netball players from near and far culminated the Sport at Backward Point Winter Netball Festival on National Youth Day.

Two of the 24 U13 Eastern and Western netball teams enjoying the game during Sport at Backward Point Winter Netball Festival which was held from 14 – 16 June in Knysna. Photo: Fran Kirsten

Two of the 24 U13 Eastern and Western netball teams enjoying the game during Sport at Backward Point Winter Netball Festival which was held from 14 – 16 June in Knysna. Photo: Fran Kirsten

These 24 U13 netball teams had travelled from both the Western and Eastern Province to enjoy the camaraderie of the sport. “This environment and atmosphere (in a netball festival) is extremely conducive to learning new skills within the sport,” said National Coach, Reg Sharp. “What we teach the children during this festival seems to be absorbed a great deal better than competitive play,” he added. ”All the festival games are friendly games, so there is not the usual pressure the children experience during competitive games.”

Sharp and his team of Provincial senior players, (his wife) Jenny, Sam Esau and Mudi Mungenga arrived in Knysna on Friday, June 13 on invitation of Robyn Paton and Keith Cretchley co-owners of Sport at Backward Point. “We were here to help with coaching the coaches as well as the children,” explained Jenny.

The team agreed that the Festival was “very well run.” Reg added, “God willing we will most definitely be back for next year’s Winter Festival.” Reg, who has been attending the Winter Netball Festival for the past ten years said: “We are now seeing players that we have coached during these festivals arriving as coaching staff.”

In both Cretchley and Sharp’s experience “these festivals have had a huge influence on the children’s sporting careers as well as their outlook on life.” It was evident that Cretchley, with his extensive sporting background is still as passionate about any sport as he was as a young provincial player. “Sport is so important when it comes to teaching children life skills and values. If a child learns the ethos of good sportsmanship, it will always stand them in good stead throughout their lives,” concluded Cretchley.

“The weather tried its best to spoil the weekend, but the passion of the game ensured that we all had an absolutely great time,” said Jenny enthusiastically. “Reg and I are nature lovers and always enjoy coming to visit Knysna. This time we spent our limited spare time interacting with nature and enjoying every minute of it,” she concluded.

When asked what Esau and Mungenga enjoyed the most about Knysna they answered in unison, “The food!”

Sports lovers are urged to support Sport at Backward Point’s Rugby Sevens Festival which starts on Thursday, June 26 and ends Sunday, June 29 when local teams take on the Australian, Gold Coast team of Towoomba Primary School as well as Cape town teams; Rhenish Primary School, Laerskool Gene Louw Laerskool , Laerskool Eversdal and Sun Valley Primary School. All games will be played at Abottsfield in Rheenendal.

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