The new Protea coaching staff has a strong Varsity Netball connection with both cutting their teeth in the competition.
Dorette Badenhorst was on Tuesday revealed as the successor to Australian Norma Plummer. She will be assisted by Dumisani Chauke.
Badenhorst, a former South Africa Under-21 coach, has been an assistant in the Protea coaching ranks for some time. Chauke, meanwhile, was the coach of the national Under-20 team last year and was the assistant to Badenhorst at the Youth Netball World Cup in 2017.
The two were both there when Varsity Netball started in 2013. Badenhorst as the coach of NWU who ended second and Chauke as a member of the Madibaz team who finished third. The following two years Chauke was the coach of the Madibaz. This year she made a return to the competition as the coach of TUT.
In her five years with NWU, Badenhorst won two Varsity Netball titles (in 2015 and 2016) and reached two further finals (in 2013 and 2017). In 2014 they finished third. Out of her 44 matches in charge of NWU in Varsity Netball, they won 34 for a winning percentage of 77%.
Apart from the two wins in the final, one other major feat in her tenure was the 2015 semi-final. The unbeaten and defending champions, Kovsies were the overwhelming favourite, having won the group encounter by nine goals, playing at home and having two Proteas players, Karla Pretorius and Lauren-Lee Christians, in their midst. Nonetheless the Potchefstroom students managed a comprehensive 56-48 victory and went on to lift the trophy for the first time a week later.
“It’s a huge privilege, honour and responsibility to coach the Proteas. Thank you to Netball South Africa for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to contribute and make a difference in each player’s life,” Badenhorst said.
“I look forward to working together with my team to make South Africa proud of the Proteas and continue to be a reckoned team in world netball.”
She will be the ninth Protea head coach since South Africa’s readmission to international netball in 1994.
By Ruan Bruwer