SPAR Madibaz netball star Jeanie Steyn was named the player of the year when the Nelson Mandela Bay Netball Association held their annual awards function in Port Elizabeth last month.
Steyn, who has represented the Proteas, was one of the leading performers for the Nelson Mandela University this year.
She received praise from Madibaz netball manager Melinda Goosen for her efforts this season.
“Jeanie struggled with a niggling injury, but she never stopped giving her all. That sort of commitment helped the club come through the year with top honours.”
Goosen said while they had completed a successful year, scooping numerous awards at the prize-giving, they were focused on improving even more next year.
“We place a lot of our focus on recruiting local players because we have an abundance of young talent in the Eastern Cape.
“Fortunately, for next year we have been able to attract a number of players from Brandwag and Nico Malan who have made SA Schools’ squads.”
The number of awards won continued a 15-year trend during which the university had become a dominant force in local netball, said Goosen.
“Although we did not win the league, you will find that most of the region’s provincial teams were made up of Madibaz players,” she said.
She put their success down to the contribution of players and management staff.
“For example, all the players who won awards have come under the guidance of (coach) Lana Krige, who has made a big impact on the sport at the varsity.
“In addition, we have people such as Euleen Grobbelaar, who is our top technical official and does great work on that front in our club.”
The Madibaz award winners were:
Valuable technical official: Euleen Grobbelaar
U19 player of the tournament: Bridget Hart
U19 player of the year: Sibulele Mandeka
U21 player of the tournament: Lucy Twani
U21 player of the year: Melodine Jacobs
Most determined player: Arne Rust
Most promising player: Hlumisa Sithonga
Most valuable player: Philine van Niekerk
Most versatile player: Eloise Webb
Captain’s award: Bridget Hart and Sibulele Mandeka
Player of the tournament: Nobulele Phuza
Player of the year: Jeanie Steyn