Cape Town - South Africa netball captain Bongiwe Msomi got involved in the sport fairly late and almost by chance, she went onto achieve the highest level as an international player.
The South African captain led the national side to the World Cup semi-finals in England earlier this year.
The 31-year-old Msomi recalled
how, when she was in Grade 11 at Luthayi High in 2005, she went to watch a
I got there they only had 13 players and as they wanted a full-court practice,
the coach (Thembisa Mncwabe) was asked if I could join in," she said.
She was given permission by
the coach and after some initial hesitation about her ability, Msomi soon
adopted netball as her new passion.
That was the start of a career
which would take her around the world representing her country while also
securing contracts to play professionally in both England and Australia.
The Proteas captain, however,
has not forgotten her roots or the start Mncwabe gave her in the sport.
has been such a big part of my netball life, often helping to pay for kit which
we could not afford in the early days," she said.
today he still gives me advice, making sure that I keep my feet on the ground.
Sometimes when people tell me I played well he will suggest that I should have
done this or should have done that."
Having made her mark in the
game during the latter stages of her school career, Msomi, who grew up in
Hammarsdale near Durban, underlined her ability as a player and leader by
captaining the national U21 side in 2009.
She graduated to the senior
side in 2011 and has captained the national team since 2016, earning a total of
104 caps so far.
After competing for South
Africa in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Msomi's
career moved in another direction, but only after an amusing incident involving
her introduction to the professional arena.
Clearly having impressed
talent scouts at the Games in Scotland, she received a Facebook message in 2015
about playing professionally in the United Kingdom.
that stage of my life I really wasn't exposed to or
aware of these sorts of opportunities," said Msomi.
actually thought it was some sort of scam and ignored it until I spoke to my
coach a few weeks later and he explained the situation and said it was probably
the real thing."
Once she made contact, a new
experience awaited her and she turned out for Surrey Storm and Wasps in the
English Super Leagues.
Further experience was gained
last year when Msomi spent some time in the Suncorp Super League in Australia
playing for Adelaide Thunderbirds.
While that has been invaluable
in her all-round development as a player, Msomi says there is still nothing to
match representing your country.
time my name is announced in the national squad there is a feeling of
excitement," she said. "It is something I
will never take for granted.
love having the opportunity to help empower women and I want to give hope to
all girls in the South African community.
has the power to change things. For instance, I have become much more confident
from being involved in netball.
am extremely proud of what I have achieved and am grateful to many people
behind the scenes who have made this all possible."
Msomi completed a national
diploma in sport management in 2012 at the Durban University of Technology
(DUT) and worked as an ambassador for the Girls Only Project, an initiative
that deals with the empowerment of women and girls through sport. She also founded
the Bongi Msomi Netball Project (BMNetball).
Having made her mark on the
court she is looking forward to the opportunities which lie ahead in her
position as University of Johannesburg netball manager and coach.
have an awesome opportunity as a UJ netball coach to showcase what I can do for
others through the sport. I am really excited for what lies ahead," she said.
believe that passion, leadership skills, valuable knowledge and experience,
confidence, fairness, and time management make a good coach.
feel I have a lot to offer the Orange Army. This is an exciting step not only
for me, but also for the ladies I will be working with and for the University
- Full Stop Communications