With the start of the 2023 Varsity Netball competition just days away on Sunday 20 August and with the excitement of the recent Netball World Cup in Cape Town still fresh in the air, there is great anticipation of what the future stars of the national team will put on display over the next three bumper weekends.
The platform that Varsity Netball provide as a breeding ground for the Proteas is undeniable. This is evident when one takes a closer look at the make-up of the squad that represented South Africa over the 10 days at the World Cup.
Of the 15 players, 14 were involved with varsity netball as either a player or a member of the coaching staff.
NWU: Elmeré van der Berg, Jeante Strydom
SU: Nicola Smith, Nichole Taljaard
UFS: Karla Pretorius, Khanyisa Chawane, Lefebre Rademan, Refiloe Nketsa
UJ: Bongi Msomi (UJ Coach), Owethu Ngubane
UP: Shadine van der Merwe, Izette Griesel, Lenize Potgieter, Ine-Marie Venter
Madibaz: Dumisane Chauke (former TUT coach)
While Msomi (UJ), Chawane (UFS), Van der Merwe (UP) and Phumza Maweni (UWC) may no longer be eligible to play, they are involved in their respective roles as head coach (Msomi) and assistant coaches (the others) at the respective universities.
UFS head coach Burta de Kock, recently elected to serve on the new World Netball Coaching Advisory Panel, says Varsity Netball is a big foundation for the SA Protea squad.
“Sponsors make it possible to be visible to other coaches and also to gain a lot of good competition. It is a pleasure to train our players because they have goals, not only for the university but also for themselves and that is to play for the Proteas. We are thankful for such a competitive tournament like Varsity Netball.”
Elsje Jordaan, former national captain and coach, is the head coach of Wits who will participate in Varsity Netball for the first time. She says the university system is a healthy high-performance channel.
“It has proven over and over again the quality players it delivers to the national programme. The national programme relies heavily on the university system as a feeding system and a nurturing platform for young players.”
SU head coach Zanele Mdodana, former Protea captain that was part of the SuperSport commentary team at the recent World Cup, says Varsity Netball is important for the national system.
“It is a stepping stone and platform where national selectors identify potential for the national team.”
Full fixture list HERE.
More information on tickets HERE.