Malvern resident Palesa Modisakeng (22) is passionate about netball and plans to play professionally.
“I would love to be a professional netball player if an opportunity can be presented to me in future. Currently, there are not enough platforms for netball players,” said Palesa.
She said netball does not get enough support like soccer which is a challenge for netball players.
“We are not all academics. Some are talented in sports and that might be their career. Soccer gets supported and taken seriously from a young age. You have scouts who are always looking for talented players and they receive support from parents because they know it is a career.
Also read: Netball players hone their skills
“With netball, this is never the case. Even parents don’t take it seriously or do not offer enough support,” said Palesa.
She said she fell in love with netball while she was in high school in 2011 and has never looked back.
“I started playing to keep busy after school and stay off the streets.
“As young people, we can easily get into the wrong things. I wanted to do something positive that benefits me and netball was a perfect fit. I am good at it,” said Palesa.
Currently, she plays for Jenny Wu Sports Academy netball team called Highlanders.
Also read: Netball players shine at festival
She said netball has taught her a lot about herself and allowed her to explore and meet new people.
“I meet people who share my passion and that has helped me grow in the sport. It also allowed me to help community teams and coach a local school as they lacked expertise and the technical aspect of the sport,” explained Palesa.
She said her journey with the sport has been amazing.
“I have learned that doing what makes me happy and helping others is fulfilling,” said Palesa.
She said commitment is important in the sport because you have to be physically fit.
“I train four times a week. It”s important to be fit in order to perform your best in the sport,” shared Palesa.
One of her highlights is being selected to play for the Johannesburg Netball Association in 2017.
“I was proud to be selected and getting the opportunity to prove to myself that I’m a good player. We did not win but having my teammates there and hearing how proud they were of me and congratulate my efforts made it really memorable,” shared Palesa.
She said she still has a long way to go in the sport and hopes that it can receive the recognition it deserves.
“I would like people to know that netball is an interesting sport. We would like to be respected and taken seriously, like any other sport.”