The pearl of SA netball

2014-07-06 15:00

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At 1.66m, Spar Proteas netball team vice-captain Bongiwe Msomi cannot be mistaken for a giant – in netball terms, that is.

In fact, for someone who plays netball, she is a shortie.

But her smallness is perfect for the centre and wing attacker, the two positions she plays in the national team.

Being in Team?SA for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 is also quite an achievement for someone who can easily be referred to as a late bloomer.

The 26-year-old only started playing netball when she was in Grade 11.

“I never played sport as a young person. I once tried my hand at basketball but it was only for one day,” she told City Press this week.

“When I was in Grade 11, we were joined by two students with whom I had grown up. “They would ask me to accompany them to training and one day their team was a player short and I was asked to stand in.”

Thus started a journey that finds her where she is today.

Msomi has taken to the game like a fish to water. So much so that in her last game for the Proteas, their third test against Scotland last week, she was voted player of the match.

“I was quite happy and excited to win the award but it also serves as encouragement to work harder,” she said.

“It was also a reflection of teamwork. We are more than a family.

“We always work and fight for each other so the award actually belongs to the entire team.”

Born in Hammarsdale, almost halfway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, Msomi now lives in central Durban and works in Durban North as a sports coach.

She completed a diploma in sport management at Durban University of Technology in 2012.

She also coaches the same institution’s netball team.

Msomi, who was a member of the South African team that played at the World Netball Series in Liverpool, UK, in 2011, is looking forward to the Commonwealth Games later this month.

“It is always good to represent your country,” she said. “Talent is a blessing from God that is not bestowed because of your wisdom, so you must exercise it to its fullest.”

Her advice to young people who would like to excel in sport? “They must follow their passion. “Where you

are born or how much money you have should not determine your destination. If you can dream it, you can realise it – as long as you work hard to reach your goal.”

Need we say more?

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