The u.12 netball team of Willows Primary School in Heideveld has exceeded expectations and come home with silver in the South African schools netball primary school championship.A few weeks ago, People’s Post reported that the school qualified to take part in the tournament and was seeking sponsors to help the team members reach Pretoria.They received support from Islamic Relief South Africa, which donated the kit and equipment the team needed to compete in Pretoria. The team did them proud and justified their reputation as one of South Africa’s top primary school netball teams.Faadiel’s Transport Services provided the travel arrangements which allowed the team to get to and from Pretoria safely.Agnes Grootboom, a teacher at Willows Primary and the team’s manager, is ecstatic about the team’s achievement, but also points out that the effort was in no small part due to the hard work and commitment shown by her players.“The girls practised throughout the June holidays in preparation for the tournament. During the first week of the holidays, some of them did not come to school for practice sessions. I had to go fetch them at home and sometimes (had to) wake them up, but after I encouraged and motivated them, they became more dedicated and really worked hard during the practice sessions.” In the tournament itself, the team represented the Western Cape and swept past teams from the North West, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.They reached the final in which they would take on Gauteng.If qualifying to take part in the tournament was already seen as a tremendous achievement, then winning their way to the final in the hope of taking home the honours would be nothing short of extraordinary.The team managed to play to a 6-6 score in the final, which meant that the match would have had to go into extra time for a winner to be crowned.Unfortunately, when the final whistle was blown, Gauteng managed to eke out a 7-6 win, taking home the gold.Despite narrowly losing out on top honours, Grootboom remains immensely proud of her charges.“They made the school, and the whole of the Western Cape province, very proud. I was very happy and told the girls that the hard work we put in during the holidays paid off.“If you work hard, you will succeed,” says Grootboom.Grootboom is grateful for the sponsors and school principal Kashief Abrahams, who, with their contributions, allowed them to take this journey.“I think the girls looked very good in their new netball gear, tracksuits and bags. I think that this also contributed towards their winning spree,” says Grootboom.