With things returning to somewhat of normality, Benoni Action Sports has launched the 4th annual Buffelsfontein BPL (Benoni Premier League), which is the 2nd year that includes netball in the tournament.
We were lucky enough to chat to Christine Straussner from Benoni Action Sports to find out more about the event.
The netball aspect of the BPL is a six-a-side tournament that runs from 4 March 2022 to 20 May 2022. The tournament will be played at the Benoni Action Sports arena, with matches taking place on Friday evenings.
The tournament allows for all action netball players (male and female) to register to play in the tournament. Players are then categorised into levels of representation within the sport, i.e. International, Inter-provincial, Superleague and social.
A random draw takes place based on these categories, with an equal spread of players from each category in each team. Teams are thus, made up of SA players, Inter-provincial players and Superleague players. This affords the rising talent to play along side some of the finest players the country has to offer, and allows them to learn and enhance their skills.
The draw took place on 19 February 2022 and the following teams were selected:
The fact that the tournament is a six-a-side league brings an exciting component to the competition, as the faster pace of the game, the two-point shot and the higher skill level needed is more entertaining. This appeals to the fans and supporters, as well as the players.
“The tournament is really focussed on comradery, as the cricket (which is played by both men and ladies) players come and support the netball and vice-versa. At the end of the day, sport wins because everyone is supporting everyone.”, says Christine Straussner.
At the draw of the teams, we managed to catch up with Shane Sun, who has represented South Africa in four international action netball tournaments and most recently captained the South African Opens Mixed team. This is what he had to say: “It’s an amazing opportunity to give back to a community, while still being competitive and enjoying the sport we all love. The fact that we have amazing sponsors on board, adds an extra element of competitiveness (with R40 000 in cash to be won) and it’s fantastic to see for the sport as a whole. We always welcome sponsors and partners within the sport to support the athletes and promote interest.”
We also got to chat to Cedric Strydom, who played in the 2019 Indoor World Cup. This is what he had to say when we asked his thoughts on the tournament: “I am lucky enough to be the captain of a team for the second year. The challenge with this is finding a good mix between the top players in my team and the first time players. Last year was a good BPL for myself and the team coming in second, so we are going for the win this year. The fun and exciting part is seeing a first timer grow and develop into a competitive player.”