After a hectic year, Dorette Badenhorst can now rest knowing she has done her best. The NWU-Pukke coach worked with the Spar Proteas in the successful three-Test series against Wales before heading to Miami with the USSA team where they took the gold medal in the World University Netball Championship beating Jamaica in the final.
Not forgetting a 100% run rate the African Youth Netball Championship qualifiers in Botswana. The experience she gathered from all these competitions including the Sanzea Series and the Diamond Challenge has helped her steer Pukke to their second successive Varsity Netball title.
The final against UP-Tuks could have been anyone’s game but Pukke were able to outsmart the hosts and defend their title successfully.
“My team is a family, they play for each other. It’s not about individuals. As you saw in the game that if you can play for each other on court, then you can do it. We were playing against brilliant individual players but well done to Tuks, they are a really great team,” she said.
Confidence played a role in Pukke getting the result. Losing to NMMU in their last group match helped them come back stronger in the semi-final against Maties and the final eventually.
“I knew it was going to be a tough game from the start but I knew that my team can do it. I knew it was going to be close in any case and it was exactly what I thought it would be. It feels unreal. It was a great come back after losing to Nelson Mandela University, a brilliant semi-final for us. Maties is also a great team,” she said.
Badenhorst said she learned a lot in the different tournaments she has been part of this year. She said it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the university.
“The tournament was up and down because the players would come and go to the Proteas. They travelled a lot. Our university never stopped with exams, they would write exams the following day. They really gave a lot for netball and there’s been a lot of support from the university with their studies as well. It was a tough year but a good year for me as a coach. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the university,” she added.
By Busisiwe Mokwena, Daily Sun/ Sunday Sun Sports Reporter