Hard work pays off for Nicholé Taljaard

Nicholé Taljaard in action at the Telkom Netball League. SKHU NKOMPHELA

Nicholé Taljaard in action at the Telkom Netball League. SKHU NKOMPHELA

Published Dec 18, 2021

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Cape Town - Her sneaky skills on court and dominant play in the goal circle makes Nicholé Taljaard a key member for any netball team she represents.

Growing up, the Durbanville resident was a multi-sport athlete and participated in tennis and athletics but netball was her number one love.

Her journey started at Hoërskool Stellenberg, where she was a regular in the first team and represented her former school at national level.

Since then she has represented numerous teams including the Western Cape Southern Stings in the Telkom Netball League, Cape Winelands in Spar National Netball Championships and the President's XII (South African reserve side) at the Spar Challenge Tri-Nations tournament.

Taljaard said: “I enjoy playing with different women and learning different things from them. This has seen me grow as a player on and off the court.

“I try not to focus too much on the score but rather focus on my game. I would always encourage my team to play safe and stay positive because we do so much better with less pressure.”

She could not have asked for a better season after she led Cape Winelands to the recent Spar National Netball title and was named Best Shooter at the competition.

Taljaard was part of the Western Cape Southern Stings and Maties team, who finished second at the Telkom Netball League and Varsity Netball tournament respectively.

She also walked away with Player of the Tournament at the Varsity Netball competition.

Taljaard said: “I worked extremely hard this year and tried to absorb as much as possible and implement it on the court. This has always been difficult for me in the past as I used to get very confused with what was expected and hearing different feedback from different coaches. The Player of the Tournament at the Varsity Netball meant a lot to me as it was my final year in university and winning Best Shooter at the SA Champs has pushed me to challenge myself more.”

Outside of netball, she enjoys trying out new food, braaing with friends and family, surfing and spending time with her fiancé Tommie Breedt and their dog Ben.

Her former team mate, Courtleigh Behr described Taljaard as funny but serious.

“She is always there to crack a joke or two but knows when to stop. Nicholé and I played together at high school and for the Western Cape Southern Stings. She has never stopped developing as a player and always motivates others on court. You will always see Nicholé with a sneaky new skill she managed to learn,” she said.

Her coach at the Western Cape Southern Stings, Annelie Lucas said Taljaard has a natural talent for netball and is that wild-card player you want in your team.

“One of my most seasoned players in the Stings group, struggled with injuries, but bounced back and kept producing positive outcomes. We’ve created an environment this year at the Stings where Nicholé could use her own natural skills and mixed that with different game plans and set-ups, (which produced great outcomes).”

Lucas' message to Cape Winelands captain is: “Never give up on your dreams. For some it is easier than others. We appreciate success more when you’ve worked hard to achieve it. You’ve only shown a little bit of sparkle, now step out and go get it, your name is written on that green and gold dress.”

Weekend Argus

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