Tshina Mdau was one of Tuks Netball’s 2017 team star players. Perdeby had the opportunity to get some insight from Mdau on last season’s success, as well as her take on the role that is played by sport in a student’s life.

The team in general has had a wonderful and successful season. What do you think are some of the factors that have contributed to the team’s success?

We just didn’t dwell on the past, and we were not willing to let the past define us. So, we were [fortified] mentally. We had a few new girls [on] who brought different dynamics [to] the team. Furthermore, we all had the same goal as a team, and there was no time for personal ideals. We were all very team-oriented.

What are some of your personal highlights from this past season?

For this season, winning three major titles in one year, one after the other…and I can retire [after] helping lead the team to victory. That’s how proud I am of the girls.

Are you happy with your personal perfor­mances this season?

I am content with my performance. I know I still have much more to offer, and still have a lot to learn in this sport.

What are some of the challenges you and the rest of the ladies faced this year?

We compromised a lot this year (family time, personal time and occasionally our studies), and we all had to manage our time wisely. We hardly had personal time (let’s not forget all the extra training sessions that were added).

What are some of the pressures facing young athletes today?

Pressures include time management [and] the possibility of sports taking over your life. Peer pressure is still a big deal because you are popular, and in some instances, [when we] earn extra cash we tend to splurge on the wrong things. Discipline also creeps in when we [try] to impress the people around us.

Why do you think that it’s important for students to remain active throughout their student careers?

It’s a great stress reliever because studies can become overwhelming.


You represented South Africa in the Netball Fast5 competition last year. How does it feel representing your country?

It was an experience of a life time. It’s such an honour to represent one’s country. Getting the opportunity to play overseas just makes you a better player in the long run.

How do you balance your studies with your other activities such as Netball etc.?

Time management is key. It’s a lot being a student athlete who also wants to have a social life. I can count how many times I have gone out this year on my hands. It’s all about time management and sticking to the schedule.

Do you have any advice for first year students who want to get involved in sport at UP?

This is by far the best institution to get involved in sport with because we are the best. UP al­lows one to have the ability to [both study and compete], and flourish. Any sports, even in a social manner, will make a great difference on your health, mentally and physically. So please 1st years, get involved in sports.


Photo: Stefan Stander

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