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Madibaz players dominate netball awards

The SPAR Madibaz players continued to show their dominance in the Nelson Mandela Bay Netball Association's competitions by scooping a dozen awards at the organisation's annual prize-giving last month.

Leading the way for the Nelson Mandela University club was Jeanie Steyn, who was named the region's player of the year.

The number of awards continued a 15-year trend during which the university had become a dominant force in local netball, said Madibaz netball manager Melinda Goosen.

"Although we did not win the league, you will find that most of the region's provincial teams were made up of Madibaz players," she said.

"The exception is the team that play in the Brutal Fruit competition, because its composition is split 50-50 with Buffalo City."

The success of Madibaz netball was due to the all-round contribution of players and management staff, she added.

"For example, all the players who won awards have come under the guidance of (coach) Lana Krige, who has made a big impact on the sport at the varsity.

"In addition, we have people such as Euleen Grobbelaar, who is our top technical official and does great work on that front in our club."

Grobbelaar received the award for valuable technical official at the NMBNA prize-giving.

Goosen also praised player of the year Steyn for her efforts during the year.

"Jeanie struggled with a niggling injury, but she never stopped giving her all. That sort of commitment helped the club come through the year with top honours."

Goosen said they were happy with the playing standard their teams had produced this year, including the Varsity Netball competition, in which they ended fifth on the final log.

"Now we are looking to build for next year. We place a lot of our focus on recruiting local players because we have an abundance of young talent in the Eastern Cape."

But they had to compete with other universities, which were also on the lookout for promising young players, she added.

"Fortunately, for next year we have been able to attract a number of players from Brandwag and Nico Malan who have made SA Schools' squads. We are very happy to have them on board."

The Madibaz award winners were:

Valuable technical official: Euleen Grobbelaar
U19 player of the tournament: Bridget Hart
U19 player of the year: Sibulele Mandeka
U21 player of the tournament: Lucy Twani
U21 player of the year: Melodine Jacobs
Most determined player: Arne Rust
Most promising player: Hlumisa Sithonga
Most valuable player: Philine van Niekerk
Most versatile player: Eloise Webb
Captain's award: Bridget Hart and Sibulele Mandeka
Player of the tournament: Nobulele Phuza
Player of the year: Jeanie Steyn

SPAR Madibaz star Jeanie Steyn was named player of the year at the Nelson Mandela Bay Netball Association's awards function last month. Photo: Luke Thorrold/Asem Engage

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