South Africa (NSA) recently announced the appointment of Ms. Modiegi Komane as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation. As we look to leverage from hosting the Netball World Cup in Cape Town, Komane aims to commercialise and professionalise the sport.
A month into office, Modiegi Komani has described her time so far in her new office as the Chief Executive Officer of Netball South Africa as the epitome of “hit the ground running”. Her tenure commenced on October 6, 2023 following the departure of long-serving Blanche de la Guerre.
Komane has been given a simple but difficult task of “To grow the sport and turn it professional!” With the South Africa coming from hosting a Netball World Cup, the first time on African soil, the aim will be to leverage of a successful event.
“A lot of lessons came from there and we need to make sure that we strike whilst the iron is still hot. The onus is on us to make sure that we almost instantly implement structures needed to create this much spoken about and much needed systems in place.”
“The legacy we have to live is keep the momentum going, grow the sport, build capacity of the institution and members, create and take care of the infrastructure, align our marketing, commercialise, professionalise and be part of changing lives of ordinary netball player or official for the best!”
As a woman who has worn the leadership hat in many of the positions she says as women strive to be better in whichever room they are in, excellence is the name of the game: “Remember your WHY, understand why you are there and clearly defined and know the impact you want to have where you are – understand what your legacy would be, strive to do better and be great – knock this out the park when done.”
gsport Writer Lonwabo Nkohla checked in on the new lady in charge of the country’s Netball governing body top office.
Congratulations on your appointment. How do you feel about holding one of the highest seats in South African Netball?
It is an honour for me to be here and serve the sport that I have been a part of for so long. One can never take for granted the responsibility that is bestowed upon me. At the same time, we can never underestimate the task that lies ahead of us.
About a month into your new position, how has it been so far?
The phrase “hit the ground running” sums up how it has been. It is almost as if we are building the plane as we fly it. A lot of work has been done behind the scenes. We can account to deliverables that could have been achieved in 3 months. Thanks to a cooperative team! It has been a busy period because so much still needs to be done.
What mandate have you been given by Netball South Africa?
To grow the sport and turn it professional!
We come from hosting the Netball World Cup, Africa’s first, what can we do as a nation to leverage from hosting that global showpiece?
I think it is important that we leverage the excitement that came from the 2023 Netball World Cup – a lot of lessons came from there and we need to make sure that we strike whilst the iron is still hot. The onus is on us to make sure that we almost instantly implement structures needed to create this much spoken about and much needed systems in place.
The legacy we have to live is keep the momentum going, grow the sport, build capacity of the institution and members, create and take care of the infrastructure, align our marketing, commercialise, professionalize and be part of changing lives of ordinary netball player or official for the best!
Professionalisation is a key move that is needed for Netball in SA to keep growing in a sustainable manner. What are the plans were that is concerned?
Professionalisation is an end product as far as I am concerned. I think there is a lot that we need to do before we become “professional.”
I am on the view that we need have right processes and systems in place first, we need to make sure that people at grassroots level are adequately capacitated, properly skilled, and ready to get down to business.
We need to make sure that we can commercialise our own brand, high performance programs in place for our teams and players, high end training courses for our administrators – once these are sorted, we will be ready to be professional.
It will take a 360, if not 720 degrees approach.
Leadership, many will argue is not for the faint-hearted, when the days get tough, what do you do to re-centre yourself and get back on track?
Being a leader is not for the faint hearted indeed. You have a lot to deal with, you need to balance and juggle a lot. You will not always please everyone and you should not; it is about making decisions that are in the best interest of the organisation you are leading and the people you work with.
When all is said and done, I am centred in God, that is where I go for direction, guidance, and counsel. A transformational leader describes who I am best!
Many women would also like to take up space in boardrooms in whatever industry they are in, even outside of sport, what advice would you give them?
Remember your WHY, understand why you are there and clearly defined and know the impact you want to have where you are – understand what your legacy would be, strive to do better and be great – knock this out the park when done. Excellence is the name of the game, humility, integrity, resilience, patience, the list is endless…
I already say that it is now 30 years after democracy, already counting 2024. Women let us support each other and stop pulling each other down!
As a former netball player, what is your dream for Netball South Africa?
To be a sport that changes the life of one person. To become a sport that is self-sufficient and commercially viable. To be on top of the world and reach pinnacle of the summit. A sport to be in the same league in all aspects as rugby and cricket from a commercial point of view.