THE Eastern Cape’s future stars were treated to instruction from some of South Africa’s top coaches when the final Spar netball clinic for the year was held at De Vos Malan Primary in Port Elizabeth last week.
More than 400 players from primary and high schools across the province received the benefit of the seven coaching clinics that took place as far afield as Middelburg, Graaff-Reinet, George and Grahamstown this year.
The two-day sessions, run by the Spar NMMU netball club, saw experts such as former Proteas player Lana Krige and university coach Maryka Allaway putting the players through their paces.
Besides improving on-court skills, the clinics provided teachers with updated manuals on the latest rules and guidelines for coaches and umpires.
The PE clinic was coordinated by former provincial player and newly appointed EP under-19 coach Linda Odolo.
Speaking at the event, De Vos Malan teacher and netball convener Katie McBean said the clinics were the best thing that could have happened to netball development in the city’s northern areas.
“It means a lot to the children. Some of them have a lot of potential – they can go far one day,” she said.
Herself a former provincial player, McBean said clinics such as this played a vital upliftment role in Schauderville. According to Spar Eastern Cape advertising and promotions manager Wendy Westraadt, the retailer had sponsored both the university club and the netball clinics for the past four years.
“Netball is one of the largest participation sports for women in South Africa and the world, so it is important for us to support the development of the sport at grassroots level,” Westraadt said.
She said the retailer’s commitment to the sport was also evident in its sponsorship of the national team, which triumphed in the recent tri-nations test series against England and Trinidad and Tobago in PE.