On closer inspection, she could be easily mistaken for a Hollywood movie star or pop diva but in real life, the Diana Ross look-alike athlete is a true Namibian ambassador for sports if her remarkable showing in the highly competitive England Netball Super League is anything to go by.
Namibia’s one and only professional netballer Toetsie Kambatuku, has just completed a stellar season with English team Northumbria where she was deservedly voted the best player by her teammates.
The nimble-footed basket buster has been a valuable squad member for the Newcastle outfit and a revelation since joining the mid-table university team three years ago, where she is currently reading towards a degree in sports management and development.
Despite a niggling toe injury, the Namibian demonstrated maturity and vast improvement in her overall performance, accumulating an enormous goal-scoring rate ranging from 75 percent to 94 percent – certainly a remarkable feat by any means.
Although Northumbria had to be satisfied with the wooden spoon – Toetsie expresses satisfaction with her personal performance describing it her best season since making the bold move to the United Kingdom.
“In all honesty, I was at the peak of my game and felt more confident, was sharper on top of that, being mentored by one of the best coaches in the business contributed immensely to my newly-found enthusiasms and gusto,” reveals Toetsie.
Former England international Lisa Stanley is the head coach of the Northumbria netball team.
Apart from playing, Toetsie is also trying her hand on coaching and has been taking the Northumbria’s Starlight Kids through the ropes. She applauded the Namibian ministry of sports for making it possible for her to realize her dream of furthering her academic aspirations while playing the game at the highest level.
She also reserves praises for the National Sports Commission and the Namibian Defence Force for their support, encouragement and financial assistance.
“I would also like to express my gratitude towards Joan Smit for believing in my ability, she deserves a pat on the back for opening the door for me to come over here.” She is scheduled to complete her academic year next month and looks forward to coming back and setting up developmental programmes aimed at making all netballers participate actively.
“The focus will be more on the youth and working closely with the portfolio ministry to create a performance pathway for the youth. I also want to conduct coaching clinics in the regions and assist in defining proper development strategies,” she remarks.
“Living in a country that is very much sports orientated has taught me that there are indeed so many benefits that can be derived from participating in sports. The time is ripe for Namibia to start flexing her muscles if we are to grow in the sporting industry as a country.”
Toetsie humbly calls for the improvement of recreational facilities and seek expertise from abroad if Namibia were to become a major force to be reckoned with in the global arena.
By Staff Reporter: New Era