South Africa's Phumza Maweni reaches for the ball during the Netball World Cup bronze medal match between England and South Africa. Picture: Rui Vieira/AP
Cape Town - Khayelitsha-born Proteas and international netball player Phumza Maweni has come back home to inspire young kids from Khayelitsha through a netball development programme.

Maweni, 33, has developed netball coaching clinics for the underprivileged kids of Khayelitsha as her way of giving back.

“The programme aims to create a higher standard for women’s sport in Khayelitsha and the ability of coaches to help their athletes develop better skills. There is a lot of potential among these kids and sport will take them away from social ills,” she said.

Maweni grew up in the Eastern Cape, where she first played netball in the village of Cala. She arrived in Cape Town as a young woman and joined a local team in Khayelitsha.

Maweni explained her route to becoming a Proteas player.

“We were just playing netball in Khayelitsha among ourselves, enjoying community netball. Then I joined another club that was playing provincial league in Bellville, and that is when I started to get noticed,” she said.

South Africa's Phumza Maweni and England's captain Serena Guthrie, left, go for the ball during the Netball World Cup bronze medal match. Picture: Rui Vieira/AP

Maweni has played for South Africa in Fast Five international competitions, Test matches, World Championship and Commonwealth Games.

“I have worked hard to get a chance to the national team, where I got exposure to play professional netball, and that is what I want to offer these young kids, a stepping stone towards their future,” she said.

Maweni said as much as Netball SA was trying to bring netball to the people, they should also use the Proteas to drive development in all provinces to bring more youngsters to play with international players and share experiences.

Currently playing as a goal defender for the Sunshine Coast Lightning team in Australia, Maweni said she was shocked and nervous when approached, as Australia’s netball league is number one in the world, with the longest season. “But I eventually signed,” she said.

“I would also like to do development coaching, especially the young netballers in rural areas, to motivate them to continue playing sport,” Maweni said.

@Mtuzeli

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Cape Argus