THE SPAR Madibaz players continued to show their dominance in the Nelson Mandela Bay Netball Associationâ€™s competitions by scooping a dozen awards at the organisationâ€™s annual prize-giving at the end of last year.
Leading the way for the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) club was Jeanie Steyn, who was named the regionâ€™s player of the year.
The number of awards continued a 15-year trend during which the university had become a dominant force in local netball, said Madibaz netball manager Melinda Goosen.
â€œAlthough we did not win the league, you will find that most of the regionâ€™s provincial teams were made up of Madibaz players,â€? she said.
â€œThe exception is the team that play in the Brutal Fruit competition because its composition is split 50-50 with Buffalo City.â€?
The success of Madibaz netball was due to the all-round contribution of players and management staff, she added.
â€œFor example, all the players who won awards have come under the guidance of (coach) Lana Krige, who has made a big impact on the sport at the varsity.
â€œIn addition, we have people such as Euleen Grobbelaar, who is our top technical official and does great work on that front in our club.â€?
Grobbelaar received the award for valuable technical official at the NMBNA prize-giving.
Goosen also praised player of the year Steyn for her efforts during the year.
â€œJeanie struggled with a niggling injury, but she never stopped giving her all. That sort of commitment helped the club come through the year with top honours.â€?
Goosen said they were happy with the playing standard their teams had produced this year, including the Varsity Netball competition, in which they ended fifth on the final log.
â€œNow we are looking to build for next year. We place a lot of our focus on recruiting local players because we have an abundance of young talent in the Eastern Cape,â€? she added.
But they had to compete with other universities, which were also on the lookout for promising young players, she added.
â€œFortunately, for next year we have been able to attract a number of players from Brandwag and Nico Malan who have made the SA Schoolsâ€™ squads. We are very happy to have them on board.â€?
The Madibaz award-winners were:
Valuable technical official: Euleen Grobbelaar
U/19 player of the tournament: Bridget Hart
U/19 player of the year: Sibulele Mandeka
U/21 player of the tournamen
t: Lucy Twani
U/21 player of the year: Melodine Jacobs
Most determined player: Arne Rust
Most promising player: Hlumisa Sithonga
Most valuable player: Philine van Niekerk
Most versatile player: Eloise Webb
Captainâ€™s award: Bridget Hart and Sibulele Mandeka
Player of the tournament: Nobulele Phuza
Player of the year: Jeanie Steyn