Source: Michael Zemanek / BPI

Four top netball nations form international partnership

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Four of international Netball’s strongest nations; South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia, have joined forces in a ground-breaking partnership, to be known as SANZEA.

SANZEA will bring together four of the sport’s leading national teams to play in a new international Netball competition on a regular basis.

The importance of regular international fixtures outside of Netball World Cup and Commonwealth Games years is recognised by the participating nations, who are united in their goal of developing a high profile and regular international competition.

New Zealand and Australia will host the inaugural event in late 2016, with the competition moving to South Africa and England who will host in early 2017.

A review will be undertaken after the initial two years, which may lead to further opportunities for the competition to grow, including the addition of other Netball nations.

The International Netball Federation (INF) has indicated support of the new partnership, with the competition format for the inaugural event, including dates and venues, to be released in the New Year.

England Netball Chief Executive, Joanna Adams is excited about the potential that this competition holds.

Adams said: “This partnership represents a wonderful opportunity for International Netball to take its place on the global sporting stage.

“It is a tremendous step towards building the depth of the game internationally and to showcase netball at the highest level on a regular basis.

“With increasing participation levels, record attendances and growing media coverage; this is a fabulous chance to capitalise on the growing popularity of the sport; both at home and abroad.

“As hosts of the next World Cup in 2019, netball fans in England can look forward to seeing the stars of the international game on our shores throughout the next four years. We can all be excited about the positive impact this new partnership will bring.”

Report courtesy of England Netball