|Nelson Mandela University netball star Nolusindiso Twani has been inspired to lace up her takkies for another season after being named Sportswoman of the Year at the Nelson Mandela University’s Achievers Awards last week.
After a highly successful season, Twani admitted she had come to a crossroads in her career, but the recognition inspired her to continue growing on court.
“I was shocked to receive this award,” said the 21-year-old goal shooter, who hails from Uitenhage but lives on campus in Port Elizabeth. “I was very happy, it was such a great honour and I was really humbled by it.
“Before this, I’d been asking myself ‘what next?’ and this made me realise that there are people who watch you and look up to you. I can’t just stop now, I have to keep going not just for myself but also for those who look up to me.”
Twani represented the national U21 team at the World Youth Netball Championships in Botswana in July and delivered outstanding performances at provincial level.
The third-year sports management student played for the Eastern Cape Aloes in the Brutal Fruit national competition and for the SPAR Madibaz in the Varsity Netball tournament, during which she won three best-shot awards.
“The highlight for me was undoubtedly the worlds in Botswana. That was the one time where, after every game, you felt like you’d left everything on court.”
She admitted that her confidence had steadily grown over the nine days of competition.
“I was always a player who wasn’t too sure of herself, but, after that experience, I’ve tried to use that confidence to my advantage in all my other performances.”
Twani also coaches at St George’s College, an opportunity she said helped her grow as a player. Having worked there for the past two years, she said she had a newfound respect for the role of a coach and hoped to continue along that path.
“This year I’ve learnt a lot. It wasn’t an easy cruise where everything went my way, so I’ll take the challenges I’ve faced and learn and grow from them for next year.”