She has long held a dream of giving back to the sport she loves, and this weekend former national netball captain Zanele Mdodana will launch her Netbasics Netball Clinic to give back to tomorrow’s stars at the Nelson Mandela University’s open courts in Port Elizabeth.
“I have had the vision since 2010, and only shared it with a few people,” said Mdodana as she eagerly anticipates its launch this weekend. “Netball means so much to me, it is a gift and my purpose, God blessed me with the ability to play, and understand netball, which is why I am now a coach.”
The Netbasic Clinic will be open to coaches, school teams and individuals. The target audience of players is aged 10-16 years of age. Mdodana believes that it is at this age that a young girl can be influenced, as she also began her netball career at age 10.
Mdodana also pointed out that the netball clinic will benefit players through enriching the basic skills of netball, and be given a platform to be creative and solve challenges. She goes on to say, “Most coaches over-coach the players, and do not give the players an opportunity to be creative, the players know the game.”
“Coming from Port Elizabeth to Stellenbosch in November 2017, I decided to organise an open day netball orientation, just to identify the quality of play of the high school learners.
“I then realised that there was a lack of skill but adequate talent,” Mdodana said, “And with university sport being so competitive compared to high school sport, I then questioned what was happening in high schools – in terms of coaching, and that is when I realised we need a solution.”
The ‘BASIC’ in Netbasic stands for something. “The initiative is for the Brave Athletic Solution finders; Independent Thinkers who use their Creative mind … and coaches should focus on directing the players not overfeed them instead give them challenges they can solve”.
She calls her birth of the initiative a blessing, “You won’t believe how the name came about, it came through my dreams. I was asleep and I asked God to give me the idea of a logo and the name of this initiative and in the middle of the night while I was asleep I woke up and wrote on my wall what I saw in my dreams, and that is how the logo and name came to life – the drawing is still on my bedroom wall till today.”
Zanele has recently joined the Maties family, and she describes her experience as an opportunity of growth: “I have entered into a challenging environment, I see Maties as the hub of sports! I have learnt so much already and I have grown as a coach,” said Mdodana.
The passionate Zanele Mdodana sees ‘her baby’ growing she hopes to take her initiative to a national platform. “This initiative is my baby, it goes wherever I go… As a PE-born girl, I see it as I am giving back to my province … I have no limits with the initiative!”
Mdodana truly is a strong woman in sports, one of many credits behind name she has worked hard to be where she is and proves that as a young girl you need to know where your strengths lie, and to take full advantage of your strengths to achieve true greatness.
“A black child, she needs to know when and how to use her voice … And as a women in sport, you need to know your power and what you can unlock, and that as women we are strong as each other. We need to own open doors for other women in South Africa, so that everyone can shine!”
“We don’t do things the same way to flourish,” says Mdodana.
Photo 1 caption: She has long held a dream of giving back to the sport she loves, and this weekend former national netball captain Zanele Mdodana will launch her Netbasics Netball Clinic to give back to tomorrow’s stars at the Nelson Mandela University’s open courts in Port Elizabeth. Image: Supplied