After an illustrious career spanning over nine years, SPAR Proteas veteran player, Phumza Maweni, has decided to call time on her playing days.
Maweni started playing professional netball at the age of 28 and has gone on to achieve a lot of success for herself on the court.
Having started off playing for the Southern Stings in the then Brutal Fruit Netball League (now the Telkom Netball League), Maweni played for some of the best teams overseas, namely Loughborough Lightning, Severn Stars, Team Bath in the UK, and Sunshine Coast Lightning in Australia.
“I have taken the time to reflect and think, and I am sad to announce that the time has come for me to gracefully exit the court, making space for the emerging stars awaiting their chance. The unwavering support of my son and family throughout my netball journey has been invaluable, and they rightfully deserve more of my time and attention. Moving forward, I intend to contribute to the sport from the sidelines, fostering growth, development, and coaching for the next generation of superstars,” said the outgoing legendary goalkeeper.
Maweni left Sunshine Coast Lightning and returned home in 2022 and played for and captained her home team, the Western Cape Southern Stings, during the 2023 Telkom Netball League.
“Phumza has been a great asset to the SPAR Proteas team and structure—a great player with exceptional netball talent and intelligence. When you consider how ‘late’ she started playing the sport, how quickly she broke into the team, and what she has been able to achieve, one can only attribute this to discipline and dedication,” said Netball South Africa President, Cecilia Molokwane.
“With the knowledge and experience she has acquired over the years, I think it will be wrong for us as a federation to let all of this go to waste. We need to start thinking about how we retain this knowledge and experience—we do not see her on court as a player; however, we need to find systems and structures that will enable us to utilise what Phumza has gained and knows,” added Molokwane.
Maweni made her SPAR Proteas debut back in 2014 against Scotland, played in three Netball World Cups, and by the time she retired, she had earned herself 121 caps, with her last match being against England this month.
“The past years have exceeded all expectations, transforming into a journey of a lifetime. This sport has shaped me into a confident and powerful woman, far beyond what I could have envisioned. I cherish and acknowledge every aspect of this experience,” concluded Maweni.
Written by: Ntsako Mukhari