‘Telkom Really Puts Netball on the Map’ TNC Winning Coach Sasha-Lee Petersen

Looking at the growth of netball over the last few years, it’s safe say that support for the sport is currently flourishing. The Telkom Netball Championship provided the perfect platform to set the wheels in motion to not only improve the game at the highest level but also to provide an opportunity to grow the sport at age-group level. All Photos: Supplied

When we look at the growth of netball over the last few years, we can safely say that the sport is currently flourishing. The Netball World Cup provided the perfect platform to set the wheels in motion to not only improve the game at the highest level but also to provide an opportunity to grow the sport at age-group level. 

A shining example of this success is the U19A Cape Winelands team, who were crowned the winners of the. The tournament saw the best upcoming netball players from around the country participate in the competition held in Cape Town in 2023. 

Someone who was front and centre to the action was winning coach, Sasha-Lee Petersen, who led her team to the title in July last year, a few weeks ahead of the World Cup in the Mother City. She says her team were made up of an amazing group of players and that made her job easier. “I was very blessed to receive just a group of talented players that were training at respective clubs, and within the Cape Winelands. 

“The players that did join us were fit, really just intelligent when it came to netball – we call it netball IQ. From my side, as a coach, I honestly feel the players were talented and it was easy to coach them.”

U19A Cape Winelands coach Sasha-Lee Petersen

Petersen believes that the TNC forms the perfect platform for players who are looking to make the step into senior netball. “The TNC is the premier junior platform to play in at the moment and it’s like playing at a high level like TNL which is the highest level of competition in South Africa. 

“I feel the TNC is a platform where you can scout the youth, see the up-and-coming talent, and develop the young players at a young age,” said Petersen. “Being able to play at that level when you are at that age is really big as well, because it is a stepping stone to playing u21, and senior in their following year.”

Lize Rossouw who captained the team to their 2023 win, echoes the sentiment of her coach and says that the TNC is a real asset to young players who are looking to take their netball careers further. 

“The TNC helps young netball players excel because it’s another highly competitive tournament with a lot of games, that builds up your experience. The more time a netball player gets on the court means they will have more opportunities to improve.”

Rossouw, who is 19 years old and is currently studying a BSc Sport Science at Stellenbosch University, shared that up-and-coming youngsters need to have these qualities if they want to succeed in the netball world. 

“I feel that if you want to succeed you need to be someone who is determined. You also need to be someone that can motivate themselves to do better if they’re having an off game or day.”

“I feel that they need to work hard and have perseverance. I think that patience is a big thing that I have noticed over the years, some young players are very impatient. Patience is key, especially when you want to get to where you want to be in your netball career. 

2023 TNC Champions Cape Winelands Captain, Lize Rossouw

Meanwhile, Petersen’s advice to youngsters is to have patience and says this quality will go a long way as they look to achieve their dream of playing for the  for the national team one day. 

“Fitness is also important, you need to be fit for the game. Playing requires you to think a lot, adapt, have speed, and be agile. In netball, your skill level drops if you are unfit.”

Over the last few years, Telkom has positioned itself as a premier sponsor of Netball in the country, they are the headline brand when it comes to the Championship, as well as the senior competition, which is the Telkom Netball League. Petersen feels that such backing goes a long way when it comes to improving things on the court. 

“Telkom really put netball on the map, especially because they because they are huge sponsor when it comes to the sport in general.”

U19A Cape Winelands coach Sasha-Lee Petersen 

“The work that they have been putting in and doing behind the scenes when it comes to funding, when it comes to putting netball out there and collaborating with them, has been really great over the years.”

“It is a female sport and we are struggling with funds as well as getting that media coverage out there, so I think that being in a partnership with such a big brand really boosts our sport, and puts us on the map. 

“I really hope we stay in partnership with them for many years to come, as I do feel that netball will become professional very soon. When it does become professional, it will change the entire game, and it will also help us with our ranking when we play at an international level.”


Main Photo caption: Looking at the growth of netball over the last few years, it’s safe say that support for the sport is currently flourishing. The Telkom Netball Championship provided the perfect platform to set the wheels in motion to not only improve the game at the highest level but also to provide an opportunity to grow the sport at age-group level. All Photos: Supplied

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