CHRIZAAN PRETORIUS

As many sports experienced negative residues from COVID-19, TuksNetball used this time to reach for higher goals. PDBY spoke to Jenny van Dyk, the first team’s head coach. Van Dyk told PDBY that the lockdown taught the netball players, who are used to a team sport, to endure individual responsibility. Although no permission has been granted for activities to resume yet, there is still hope for the Telkom Netball League in October and the team will play either as the Gauteng Jaguars or Gauteng Fireballs. After all, this year has been extremely challenging as a whole, and van Dyk states that it was never their goal to keep everything together, but rather on how quickly they could bounce back if they did hit a roadblock in their motivation. Van Dyk, who usually only coaches the first team, had the chance to coach the whole club and kick off their new online netball programme. The online program has always been a dream of the club and the lockdown provided an excellent opportunity. The programme focuses on not only the big components, but also on marginal aspects that are still of great importance, such as balance and peripheral vision. It is structured on a four-week basis,with every second month having one week off and every month containing a half load week.

On the whole, anyone in the country can join for a monthly fee, offering a solution to the off seasons for times when static training usually raises concerns for netball teams. Van Dyk, assisted by Charne Britz, a Sport Scientist, and Sonne Mokken, the Tuks Netball Assistant coach and Junior Programme coach, contributed funding to TuksNetball’s high performance program. In either case the program assists in all the physical skills that netball teaches you, including the high intensity actions and ball skills. Apart from that it teaches players mental toughness and how to have constant resilience under pressure. Van Dyk added that if it was not for the players’ enjoyment of the sport and expectancy of what to come, no player would keep out this long without being on the court. Van Dyk also added that if she could take one life lesson from netball it would be that “you rise by lifting others”. Netball is a team sport and without the individual and the team effort, no one will succeed. Tuks Netball, in essence, did not stand still in lockdown, but made great success in exceeding the boundaries of their own local courts.

If you are interested in joining the program you can contact tuksnetballonline@gmail.com and join at a reduced monthly fee of R100 from September.

PDBY is the official student newspaper of the University of Pretoria.
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