Didintle Keebine Reflects on Fast5 Silver Medal Honours

Telkom Netball League’s North West Flames captain Didintle Keebine reflects on South Africa’s silver medal winning performance at the Fast5 Netball World Series, which took place in New Zealand from 5-6 November 2022.

Keebine and the team made history as they concluded the tournament as the second-best country, flying back home with silver medals dangling around their necks.

Apart from her career on court, Keebine is a Psychology and Sociology graduate who is currently completing her Postgraduate Diploma in Management at the North-West University.

One of her desires is to see women from disadvantaged areas receive increased recognition and media coverage.

Speaking with Tlamelo Kganakga, Keebine chats more about her journey and the 2023 Netball World Cup.

 

Didintle, first up, congratulations on grabbing silver medal honours at the Fast5 tournament. Please tell us about the experience.

The experience was incredible. I still can’t put everything into words. We made history, we are second in the world. It’s unbelievable! I’m in complete awe of our time in New Zealand and everything we experienced.

How was the journey for you?

The journey to the second-spot finish was not easy at all. It took a lot for us to get there as a team. It was hard, and to keep on going at times seemed impossible due to the intensity of the game. Our coaches knew what to do and say at the right time. Our physiotherapist knew how to manage our bodies though it all. Our Vice-President, Mami Diale, is a lady who is more behind the scenes. The day before the finals was the day she actually got to speak to us. She reminded us of how many are called but a few are chosen, and we were the chosen ones for the task, which comes with a responsibility. She reminded us of how God qualifies the unqualified for His glory. That night, she switched things around for us. Coach Martha reminded us of how big things are possible, and coach Erin reminded us of the lions we are within. So much wisdom, encouragement and faith was shared with us that it was impossible for us not believe. So, do I think our journey to the second-spot finish could’ve been better? I think our journey to the second-spot finish turned out exactly how God planned, and there’s nothing better than that.

Please give us a brief background of yourself.

I’m a Psychology and Sociology graduate and I’m currently doing my Postgraduate Diploma in Management at North-West University. I was born in Mafikeng; home is now in Midrand. I love food, cooking and traveling. I’m adventurous, and I’m always up for trying out new things. I enjoy watching movies and series, and I enjoy reading.

Where did your love for sport begin?

I grew up being a hyperactive kid and was always ready to participate in most of the extra mural activities. My passion for sport is an inborn thing. I noticed this when I was 7 years of age; that’s when I started to get involved in both netball and athletics.

Before joining NW Flames, which team did you play for?

I started playing for the North West Flames in 2018. Before this, my netball journey looks like this:

1.2009-2015 North West Provincial colours
2.U18 Squad
3.Proteas U19 and U21
4.2016 Baby Proteas SA U21, North West U21 Provincial colours

This is how my journey led to playing for the North West Flames.

Taking you back to the 2022 Telkom Netball League. How was it for you?

My impression for the first leg of TNL was it’s either you bring your A game to the table, or you don’t. The team that works together, intentionally, will take on the league and be the champions of the 2022 TNL. The Gauteng Fireballs did this very well.  For the second leg as the North West Flames we focused on being consistent and working better as a team.

Who are some of the sportswomen you admire and why?

Maria Folau who is still unstoppable and Romé Joubert who played a huge role in the player I am today. Maria Folau is relentless in every way that she makes it look easy. She’s a hard worker and there’s nothing that can get her down. Romé Joubert gave me goosebumps before she retired. She was also unstoppable, she always pushed through until the very end and most importantly, she was always helping others.

What are some of the challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges would be juggling everything, which is work, studies, family, and friends, etc. That’s where proper planning comes in, and even when you do, it sometimes feels like you still need to get the hang of things. It’s a beautiful challenge though, you really learn how to handle pressure and unexpected events. I believe such situations only make you stronger and wiser, and never weaker.

Spectators are now fully back at stadiums. What impact does this have on your game personally?

To have spectators creates a vibe, which we went without for the past two years. They create a different atmosphere. To have supporters and people cheering for you and the sport is a small act, however, it’s also one of the small things that can keep you going.

What would be some of your career highlights to date?

-U/21 SA Baby Proteas team to represent the country at the SA vs Wales test series

-2019 Proteas Squad

-2021 CUCSA National Squad

-2021/2022 Proteas Squad

What is your greatest ambition?

When given the opportunity to play for a team overseas, I would love to take the opportunity on! To represent the country internationally, to be one of the best development coaches in the country, and to start my own sport academy.

The Netball World Cup is coming to SA next year. How excited are you about it and what do you think it means for the country?

The 2023 Netball World Cup is going to put South Africa on the map once again. This will be the first Netball World Cup to ever take place in South Africa. We’re bringing to the sport to our people. I believe it’s big for the country, most importantly, the sport itself.

What is it that people don’t know about you?

I love animals, with all my heart.

If you could play for any team in the world, which team would it be and why?

Currently, the Melbourne Vixens or the West Coast Fever. It’s the character both teams showed this season at the Super Netball Premiership. In addition, the West Coast Fever won their first ever title.

What do you think we as media can do to amplify women’s sport?

I believe the media is currently on the right track to amplify women’s sport. One of my biggest desires is to see women from disadvantaged areas receive recognition just as those from advantaged areas.

What’s your advice to aspiring netball players?

I believe that if you really want something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. You are going to have people who are going to tell you that you can’t do something, there will always be nay-sayers in life. You can’t let that get to you. You need to go out there and make something of yourself and prove them wrong. You can do anything you put your mind to, and when you have your mind set on something, there is literally nothing that can stop you. When you believe, anything is possible. Whatever it is you want to achieve, if you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk, if you can’t walk then crawl. No matter what, keep moving forward, you will make it. Trust the process.

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