A total of four SPAR Madibaz netball players were chosen for the South African U21 training squad after a camp in Pretoria last month.
The Nelson Mandela University student-athletes – Kaylin Coetzer, Jami-Leigh Goeda, Asekho Njeza and Britney van der Merwe – are now in line to represent the country at next year’s Youth World Cup.
Coetzer and Goeda were also named in an SA U21 Invitational team to play in the Telkom Netball League in Bloemfontein from October 14 to 27.
The four teenagers are determined to make the most of their opportunities as they demonstrate their talents on a wider stage.
Coetzer, 18, said the sport had always been a big part of her life.
“My goal at the training camp was to use my talent to perform the best I could and to gain as much experience as possible.”
The first-year student said she was “extremely honoured” to be in the U21 Invitational squad and excited for what lay ahead.
Nineteen-year-old Goeda, now in her second year of studies, said her sole focus at the training camp was to give her best.
“Even though we had a delay during the year because of Covid-19, and it was tough at times, I knew that God’s hand was working.
“In the end the excitement was overwhelming and I am so grateful for this chance to play in the Invitational side.”
Njeza, a 19-year-old from East London, was excited to be on the same path set by her mother, Zandile.
“My goals were to follow in my mother’s footsteps and to make the SA U21 team and hopefully continue to make the senior team, too,” the first-year said.
“My aims now are to work on my fitness, as well as my distribution skills, because I know I need to be sharper and faster with or without the ball.”
First-year student Van der Merwe, also 19, said she realised the U21 camp was a significant steppingstone to further honours.
“I knew my performance could either make or break whatever future I have in South African netball, so I set myself the short-term goal of giving 100 per cent every time I went onto the court.”
She added she would focus on improving her fitness.
“I know there are smaller technical areas I must work on but once you’re it, the likelihood of making mistakes on court is minimised.”