Saarah Kamish,14, from Woodlands, a Grade 9 pupil at Mondale High School, and her teammates will fly the flag for Mitchell’s Plain Netball Union (MPNU) at a tournament in Mossel Bay, at the weekend.
MPNU matches, normally played at Westridge, have taken place at the Portland sports field over the past few weeks due to the resurfacing of the courts at the Stephen Reagan sports complex. All matches have been put on hold this weekend to accommodate the squads taking part in the upcoming tournament.
Saarah, a member of Weltevrede Netball Club, is among the club’s current crop of players and former players, who have made their mark on netball courts across the city.
Introduced to the game seven years ago, while at Mitchell’s Plain Primary, the sporty teenager said she’s comfortable playing in any position.
“I was taught that if you want to be a professional netball player, you should play all the positions,” she said.
She’s been with Weltevrede, the current MPNU under-15 and under-17 knockout champions, for four years and, says coach Igshaan Brenner, is a top class athlete who always gives her best on court. “She is sometimes too hard on herself, but hard work ultimately pays off,” he said.
A good work ethic saw her selected for the WP under-15 schools’ team along with Weltevrede’s Tyler Cloete and Keyana Philander and players from other clubs that have been selected for various Western Cape school teams.
“The most important process in the club is that we teach them the basics from under-9. Once you get it right at that age, your club teams will perform as the results indicate,” said Brenner, who wears multiple hats in the netball fraternity, including that of MPNU chairman, Cape Town Netball Federation acting chair and spokesman for the Westen Cape Netball Federation.
“Our core business at MPNU is to continuously expose our members to various netball opportunities. Currently MPNU has a number of WP players, including Saarah and others, at school and club level, along with administrators and management,” he said.
“MPNU also have one SA male player, Luke Moolman and a former Weltevrede club member, Renisha Daniels, currently playing for the Western Cape Tornados,” he said.
An all-round sporty teenager and self-confessed bookworm with a passion for history and a knack for numbers, Saarah and her teammates will have their work cut out if they hope to follow in the footsteps of players who have come through the ranks over the years.
By all accounts, the youngster is moving in the right direction as she was also selected to represent the Western Cape Coastal indoor netball team at a tournament in Johannesburg earlier this year and named vice-captain for under-15 B division for the Western Cape team
Away from the netball court, she said, sprints are her favourite athletic event and former fastest man on earth, Usain Bolt’s autobiography Faster than lightning is one one her favourite reads.
Earlier this year, she also tried her hand at the 400m event, making it as far as the WP high schools’ zonal championships. She said she also enjoys listening to motivational songs on a competition day, just to get the adrenalin pumping, whether on the track or on the court.