Netball South Africa enjoying “high-performance set-up” at University of Bath as they train towards Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
As well as train on the indoor courts at the £35million Team Bath Sports Training Village, the SPAR Proteas players are using the gym facilities for strength and conditioning sessions, hydro pool for recovery and judo dojo for yoga.
They and the support staff are also staying in accommodation and eating meals on campus, just a few minutes’ walk from the STV, during the five-day camp which includes a practice match against a Team Bath Netball invitational squad.
Dorette Badenhorst, Head Coach of Netball South Africa, said: “It’s a really important few days for us, an opportunity to be together as a team and settle in our game plans ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
“We came to visit some of our international players during the Superleague season and also visited Bath. We decided this was the place we wanted to come back to for a training camp. They are great facilities and we don’t have to travel on a bus to get to them, we can stay on site, so this for us was the ideal high-performance set-up.”
Several of the South Africa players are no strangers to the STV with defenders Phumza Maweni and Zanele Vimbela, centre Khanyisa Chawane and shooter Lenize Potgieter all having represented Team Bath in the Vitality Netball Superleague in recent years.
For Maweni (pictured top) it is a quick return to Bath just weeks after the end of a 2022 campaign in which she shone in Blue & Gold, her outstanding form at goal-keeper earning her a place in the Superleague’s All-Star VII.
“It’s good to be back,” she said. “Bath is a home away from home and the weather definitely favours me this time! All the girls are happy – I’ve been showing them around my home and they’ve all been enjoying the amazing facilities.”
South Africa visit Wales next week for their final matches before the Commonwealth Games, with the netball competition taking place at The NEC in Birmingham from Friday 29th July to Sunday 7th August.
Fellow medal hopefuls Jamaica are South Africa’s first opponents in a tough pool which also includes Australia and Badenhorst said: “We are the underdogs but I really strongly believe that it is so close between the top teams that we can get that podium finish. This is a great group of players, they work really hard as a team to achieve their goals and we’re all really excited.”
The SPAR Proteas are the second international squad to be training at the University of Bath ahead of a major tournament, with the England Women’s Rugby squad currently two-thirds of the way through a three-week training camp ahead of this Autumn’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.