By John Tuerijama
A Namibian netballer has clinched the sportswoman of the year award of a top university in South Africa.
Jaumbjaije Zauana walked away with the University of Cape Town’s Sportswoman of the Year accolade after her exceptional exploits on the netball court this year.
Zauana said she was extremely overwhelmed with a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. “I have honestly endeavoured persistent effort to do the best possible. It is a great achievement for me especially since it is my first year playing for the University of Cape Town.
Describing her feeling, the sensational netballer said: “I was shocked. To be honest I didn’t expect it considering the numerous great female sports players at the university and the quality of teams.” She said that she was up against some top sports women from the university, some from athletics and football.
“They too have represented the (Western Cape) province but what made me come out to the top is particularly representing Namibia at national level,” she stressed.
The main criterion for the sportsman or woman of the year is based on participation at international level, or actively competing at tertiary institutions’ competitions.
Zauana, a first-year physiotherapy student, said she will only receive her award at a ceremony next year. The ceremony was postponed due to the ‘Fees Must Fall’ campaign at their university and elsewhere in South Africa.
“I am dedicating the award to all the ladies I have shared a court with in 2016. Netball is a team sport, and without any mates, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to achieve this. My success was dependent on a team of players working together,” she said.
She added: “This award has made me encounter excellence through my hard work. I won’t really be content with complacency. I will definitely have to be hungrier and more aggressive on the court, whilst still having fun at the same time.
“I have learned that my talent is God given and it will always humble me. I will never let it get over my head because when we do that it takes me off my game and I focus.
“My message to all young athletes is that love sports, follow your dreams but never neglect your education. If you are able to study, do it, because eventually your sporting career will end and it will give you peace of mind to know that you have an academic back-up that no one will ever take away from you,” stressed Zauana.
Zauana said she was proud to have represented her University team at all levels such as the netball league, club championships, USSA and Varsity Cup. “I have had the opportunity to also play for the Western Cape Provincial team that competed in the Spar National Championship held in Durban in August 2016 and I helped the team win the title in the final against Free State. I also took home the title of best goal shooter of the tournament accolade,” she disclosed.
Before she moved to Cape Town, the 1.9m tall Zauana played for Black Africa in the Khomas Netball League and also recently represented TISAN at the FISU (International university sports games) in Miami, USA.
On the deplorable status of netball in Namibia, Zauana said: “I genuinely feel that Namibian netball and other female sport codes are generally underfunded by both Government and the private sector. Look at how well other male sport codes are funded but very little is done for us women. Without the right funding, it will always be difficult for netball to reach the same level of competitiveness as Malawi and South Africa.”
“This has hampered our progress on the international stage to a point where we are not even competing in competitions that provide the platform for us to be scouted and to play in more competitive leagues across the globe,” she concluded.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015