The Dee Oliver Cup 2017
09 August 2017, WBSA Celebrated the Spirit of the 8th Dee Oliver Cup on Women’s Day in commemoration of Ms. Dee Olivier who passed away tragically in 2007 on her way to Bloemfontein, whilst representing the Eastern Cape Province at the Vodacom National Women’s Championships. This tournament is in memory of our fallen comrade who was the first Eastern Cape Women player to Captained the first SA Women’s National Team.
Provincial Teams representing the Free State, North West Province, Kwa Zulu Natal, Gauteng, Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces descended on the Nelson Mandela Bay Region for four days and competed in the Vodacom Wheelchair Basketball Women’s National Championship for the Dee Oliver Cup, held at the Raymond Mhlaba Indoor Sports Centre, Motherwell, in Port Elizabeth from the 9th to 12th August 2017.
WBSA Director, and Wheelchair Basketball Eastern Cape Chairman, Mr. Sibongile Fondine reiterated that this was an opportunity as a community to come together and celebrate the spirit, the determination, courage and achievement of Disabled Women in Sport. It is these attributes which made the Dee Oliver Cup remembered for its contribution to women’s excellence.
In conjunction with Vodacom, WBSA, the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, has undertaken this annual project to promote the growth of basketball amongst women, whilst at the same time, using this tournament to celebrate the overcoming of disability on National Women’s Day. In so doing, we will partner with Basketball SA and other associations so as to build up women’s wheelchair basketball and provide a platform for the National Women’s High Performance program.
Our involvement in wheelchair basketball is not only focusing on building players in terms of performance but it goes beyond that into boosting their morale and most of all, giving them dignity in being recognised rightly amongst sports personalities.
The Vodacom Legacy program with Elsen Schools engages youth into a support structure, assisting in the development of the community and youth. It is a project launched in conjunction with WBSA by Vodacom in 2015, ensuring sustainability in skills development programs.
This Vodacom National Women Championships took place for the first time in 2009 and was won by the SA Invitational side. The tournament was held in Port Elizabeth and it was a great success partnered with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, sponsored by Vodacom. It is fitting, 9 years later, that the games have returned to its place of origin.
The Dee Oliver Cup also gives the High-Performance Coaching Commission Staff the final opportunity to assess athletes for selection into the national women’s squad who will represent South Africa at the IWBF African World Cup Qualifiers later this year in Durban in November. The country that qualifiers, will represent Africa at the World Cup to be held in Hamburg, Germany in 2018
CEO of Wheelchair Basketball SA, Charles Saunders states, that the Partnership with the Provinces and Vodacom over the past 18 years has established a solid base from grass root to performance enhanced athletes, starting from the Youth U23 Games and extending into the National Women and Men Provincial Championships. It has provided the foundation for not only skills development but National Selection and has elevated out athletes onto the world arenas. Our gratitude and appreciation goes beyond a single thank you as it has benefited so many lives afflicted by disability and we celebrate that this is not just a game, but a way of life.
The two finalists from the Vodacom U23 Youth games, Women and Men SA Championships will be playing in the Vodacom Wheelchair Basketball Challenge for a Winner takes All coveted cash prize and title champions of South Africa on the 7th of October 2017 in Johannesburg.