Two University of Johannesburg (UJ) players, Boitumelo Mahloko and Tshinako Mdau, and netball coach, Bongiwe Msomi, have been selected to be part of the national netball team, the SPAR Proteas. They will take part in the upcoming Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series against Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago between 10 and 22 October 2021.
Mahloko says she is honoured represent the SPAR Proteas for the upcoming Caribbean Clash.
“Being selected in the SPAR Proteas team has been surreal for me. This has not sunk in yet – it has been a dream for me since I’ve started playing netball and seeing the dream unfold is really a blessing. It shows how God never stops working in my life,” says Mahloko.
With the 2022 Commonwealth Games soon approaching, the SPAR Proteas coaching staff are working on building a formidable team that will not only compete at the Commonwealth Games, but a team that will also be there in 2023 when South Africa will host the Netball World Cup in Cape Town.
“As a federation, it is very important that we give coach Dorette Badenhorst and her management team the support that they need as they get a team that will play in Jamaica, the Commonwealth Games and lastly the World Cup. We have made it very clear that we cannot be the hosts of the World Cup and then bow out at group stages, a podium finish is first prize for us. For us to get this, we need to make sure that we begin to fine-tune the team that will do the job for us,” said Cecilia Molokwane, President: Netball South Africa.
UJ student athlete Mahloko hopes to make her mark in her debut. “I hope to fit in the team culture as soon as possible so that I can put in a better performance in my debut when given the chance to play,” she says.
The national team last took to the court in March when they played the SPAR Tri-Nations Challenge against Uganda and Namibia down in Cape Town, a series that they won. Come October, the 16 player squad will be led by UJ Netball coach Bongi Msomi as captain.
Msomi is the third-highest capped South African netball player (126), and has recently joined fellow national team captains Siya Kolisi (Springboks) and Temba Bavuma (Proteas limited-overs cricket) on global sports marketing agency Roc Nation’s books.
The athletes selected for the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series attended a camp in which 16 of the 25 players who attended the camp made the final squad. It was the first time this year that the SPAR Proteas hosted a team hosted a training camp.
The bulk of the players invited to the training camp included those who were part of the three national teams: SPAR Proteas, President’s XII and SPAR Baby Proteas which participated in the tournament hosted in Cape Town in March.
SPAR Proteas Netball Squad for the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series:
Jessica du Plessis
Elmee van der Berg
Shadine van der Merwe
Head Coach: Dorette Badenhorst
Assistant Coach: Dumisani Chauke