Badenhorst lands her dream job
The former Baby Proteas coach was assistant to Australian coach Norma Plummer at this year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool where the national side finished fourth.
Reaching the semi-finals, the Proteas produced their best result at the World Cup since South African won silver at the 1995 edition. The Proteas suffered a comprehensive 58-41 defeat to England in their bronze-medal match.
Badenhorst, who had a successful six-year stint with North West and the North-West University (NWU) before she moved to Gauteng at the end of 2017, said she had applied for the position before but never cracked the nod.
“It is a great privilege and honour to coach the SPAR Proteas team,” Badenhorst said. “It is not going to be easy, especially in the first three months playing in three big competitions.”
Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane said the coaches would be signed on a contract that was ‘peformance based’, but they would give them time to find their feet.
“We also need to be fair to give them time from 2019 to 2023 to make sure they deliver a team that would represent the country very well,” Molokwane said.
“As Netball SA and as a country, we believe it was time that a South African led the team especially as we are going to host the 2023 World Cup.”
Badenhorst and Chauke will have to prepare the team for the upcoming Africa Netball Cup in Cape Town which will be held between October 18 and 22 before the three-Test series against England at the end of November in the Mother City.
They face their biggest challenge in January when they will be involved in a four-nation series against England, Jamaica and world champions New Zealand.
“It is a great opportunity and a challenge for us to build on what Norma did for our country ensuring we go forward making sure we become better in world netball,” Badenhorst said.
“Working with Norma in the past four or five years, I got a lot of confidence because what we do is not that much different. We think the same and we have the same mindset in certain things.”
Badenhorst said one of their first strategic tasks was to expand the pool of talent that can represent the Proteas.
“We have to go out there and identify more players, our pool of players are not big enough, we definitely need more depth,” Badenhorst said.
“We need that second team that is at the same level as the Proteas, and that is a goal for us as a management team.”