Netball SA President Mimi Mthethwa has confirmed that national coach Elize Kotze has agreed to stay on until the year end. Photo: Reg Caldecott Netball South Africa (NSA) President Mimi Mthethwa confirmed on Monday that NSA had written to the coach of the SPAR National Netball team, Elize Kotze, asking her to stay on as head coach until the end of the year.

“We would love to give her a contract until after the World Championships in 2015.  We are in no doubt about her value to the team, but she understands that at this stage, we are not in a position to offer contracts to anyone,” said Mthethwa.

“We discussed the situation with her during the SPAR Challenge series against Northern Ireland in Cape Town last week, and she has agreed to stay on until the end of the year.  The team has shown a definite improvement since she took over last year, and we have a very important series against the top three teams – Australia, New Zealand and England – in October and November.”

Mthethwa said NSA was talking to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula about the need to make netball more professional by offering contracts to coaches and players. Mbalula said last week that netball, the biggest women’s sport in South Africa, needed more support.

“Elize understands that we have a long-term plan, and we hope very much that she will be a part of that,” said Mthethwa.

“Part of her job will be to work with other national coaches, such as the Under 23, Under21, Under 19 and Fast Net coaches, so that they are all on the same page, as well as to reach out to the regions and work with regional coaches so that players and coaches are more exposed to top-level netball.

“She has agreed to work with us and help us plan the road ahead, and we very much hope that we will be able to keep her in this position until after the World Championships in 2015.  In the meantime, we are very pleased that she has agreed to stay on until the end of the year,” said Mthethwa.