TAY LETHULOE

UP-Tuks netball players Lenize Potgieter and Izette Lubbe have recently come back from representing South Africa at the 2015 Netball World Cup in Australia. They will now be turning their attention to the Varsity Netball campaign which begins on 6 September. Perdeby caught up with these Protea stars.

You recently came back from the Netball World Cup in Australia. How did you find the experience?

Lenize: It was an amazing experience for me. I am honoured to have played for the Proteas and so privileged to play against big teams such as New Zealand, England and Australia. I learned so much throughout the whole World Cup from Norma [Plummer] and Nicole [Cusack], and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have been coached by them.

Izette: The Netball World Cup was an incredible experience. Its [what] every little netballer dreams about, and it came true! Wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Did you get up to anything exciting during the time off?

Lenize: My excitement was going for chai lattes and peanut butter lattes just down the stairs with my roommates Izette and Rochelle. We had one proper day off, going on a ferry, experiencing Sydney Harbour, seeing the Opera House and walking down the streets of Manly, then just getting back to put up our feet and rest our bodies.

Izette: In Sydney the team took the ferry on our day off. Some of us actually took the wheel for a few minutes and got to take some awesome selfies with the Opera House and spend some time at the well-known Manly beach.

Coming back from the Netball World Cup, what expertise do you think you will be able to offer the team this year?

Lenize: Nicole has taught me a lot of new movements in the circle and [has helped] me with my timing, so I think to know when to fetch the ball and when to stay in the circle will be helpful. Norma also told me [every] game that I shouldn’t overthink my shots – I should just turn and take it. Self-belief is key.

Izette: As a team and individually we learned a lot from our coach, Norma Plummer. All we can do is try and implement everything she taught us [and] share a few secrets with our teammates to become the best players we can be, and ultimately a better team.

You now have to turn you attention to the Varsity Netball tournament. How is the training going?

Lenize: My training is going well. Our coach is in Durban now coaching the Gauteng North team, so we are just busy with speed and agility sessions, fitness and gym sessions.

What do you hope to achieve in this year’s Varsity Netball?

Lenize: I’m really hoping to play in the finals this year. After missing it last year, I realised I don’t want to sit in the crowd and watch. I want to be on the court, playing the game and obviously winning the gold medal.

Izette: As a team and individually we learned a lot from our coach Norma Plummer. All we can do is try and implement everything she taught us [and] share a few secrets with our teammates to become the best players we can be and ultimately a better team!

Do you also think you are ready to go up against national teammates you played with at the World Cup?

Lenize: Yes, I think I’m ready for them. It will always be a challenge for me to go up against the best in our country,but hopefully I also give them a challenge [laughs].

Izette: Only a few players that participated in the Netball World Cup will be playing in the Varsity Cup, but [it] will definitely be interesting to see how we use what we learned against each other. [I’m] looking forward to that challenge.

You have competed in Varsity Netball before. What do you enjoy about the tournament?

Lenize: I enjoy the atmosphere that any Varsity sport gives off. There’s just something about it. The music, the crowd, and definitely playing with my teammates again.

Izette: Varsity Netball is definitely my favourite tournament of the year. The vibe is just amazing, and travelling the country every weekend with your friends and staying in a different hotel each time is definitely a bonus.

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