South Africa’s new netball coaches are ready to fill Norma Plummer’s big shoes.
Dorette Badenhorst and Dumisani Chauke have been appointed to lead the South African national netball team, and their positions as new coach and assistant coach were announced on Tuesday morning.
Former head coach Plummer, who came out of retirement in 2014, stepped down from her position after the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, earlier this year.
The Australian took the Spar Proteas to new heights when the team reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 24 years.
According to Netball South Africa President Cecilia Molokwane, these two were without a doubt the best suited for their respective positions.
She told City Press: “The two coaches have been with Norma [Plummer] for a long time. When we asked Norma who she thought would be best to take the baton from her, from four coaches, she unreservedly specified Dumisani and Dorette.”
“We as Netball South Africa then, based on Norma’s recommendation, looked at their track records and the rest, as they say, is history.”
For Badenhorst her appointment was a dream come true.
“The dream of any coach is to reach the pinnacle of coaching the national team. It is really hard work. You really need to give a lot and for me it’s not about me but about the players,” she told City Press.
“It is about the country. We should stand together as a team and country to make sure we reach greater heights. It was unexpected but I will give my everything to the team, the sport and the country.”
Asked about her plans as the new coach, Badenhorst said the foundation had been laid to ensure the Netball Proteas only get better.
“We need to just build on what Norma has given us. I don’t think we need to change a lot; I just think that it is important to build on what she left the team with and keep on building forward. I think we need to give more players the opportunity to play at an international level,” she said.
Newly appointed assistant coach, Chauke (33) like Badenhorst, could not contain her elation at her new position.
I feel honoured that Netball South Africa looked at me and saw it fit to appoint me as assistant coach of the Proteas,” she said
“I am really excited. I am looking forward to the adventures and challenges and opportunities I am looking forward to growing, not just as a coach but as a person. I look forward to being part of and playing a role in the growth of the sport in our country.”
The duo’s first assignment will be the Africa Netball Cup taking place from October 18-22, where nine countries including Zambia, Zimbabwe and Lesotho will face off in Cape Town.