Sixteen of the top teams in the world of netball gathered yesterday at the Artscape Theatre Centre, Foreshore, Cape Town last evening, to mark the beginning of the sport’s pinnacle event, The quadrennial Netball World Cup.
The Candle Lighting Ceremony, which dates back to the first official netball world championship, held in Eastbourne, England, in 1963, gathers players to light candles in a symbol of friendship and goodwill, committing to honour the spirit of the game.
Led off by Dame Liz Nicholl DBE, freshly reelected as president of World Netball at Congress at the Westin Cape Town, the 16 team captains followed this now 60-year-old tradition with the teams announced in alphabetical order.
The much-respected Candle Lighting Ceremony is a sacred tradition of the Netball World Cup. It gives players and officials the opportunity to honour the history, the present and the future of the sport before they take to the court to compete for the ultimate prize—the World Cup.
The ceremony has become a symbol for international netball, celebrating the worldwide impact of the sport.
The Netball World Cup has been hosted in England, Australia, Jamaica, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Scotland, and Singapore but never in an African country.