02 July 2018 Read: 177
Khanyisa Chawane (22) was this week named the best player in the national netball premier league. During this same ceremony she was also named the best Centre player in the league. Chawane received her accolades via live television feed as she was not able to be at the awards in person because of a mandatory performance enhancer drug test.
Though this star of the South African netball courts has made her home at the clubhouse of the Free State Crinums, she has her roots firmly planted in Tzaneen where she attended, and played for, Ben Vorster High school. Between 2008 and 2014 she represented Limpopo in the position of Centre forward and played her way into the South African u/17 and U/18 teams during this period.
“I will never forget Khanyisa,” said Charmain Beetge, Netball Coach at Ben Vorster. “From the moment that girl stepped onto the court I said to everyone in the local netball circles, watch that girl. She used to play Goal Defence during her time under my wing and she is only one of two girls in the history of Ben Vorster to have played for the First Netball Team since the age of 15. I am super proud of her and wish her only the best for the future.”
After completing school she played for the Free State U/21 team and soon made a name for herself on the courts during the Varsity Cup. Her current aspirations are to play for South Africa and face off against the mighty Australians.
Chawane is currently completing her BSc in Geography and Climatology at the University of the Free State. We spoke to her on Wednesday.
“Firstly I was bowled over because I didn’t really expect to win anything, I was just playing for the team. I couldn’t be there because of the drug test and the procedures that go with it, but I feel blessed and honoured. There were so many really great players there which is why I am probably still in shock!”
Currently recovering from a grade 1 ligament tear and an over-stretched tendon in her right ankle, Chawane said that she is enjoying a bit of a rest and learning to take things easy. She sustained the injury during a match on the 9th of June which saw her team make it to the quarter finals. Despite the injury she still stepped up to the plate and gave it her all for the Free State Crinums against the Jaguars in the semi-final.
“Playing Centre feels natural to me. It took some time to adapt to the change in play between Goal Defence and Centre, but once I got it, I cannot see myself anywhere else. In future, I would love to remain in the Center position, but I am able to play all positions rather well and there is none that I don’t particularly like.”
Chawane said that when the time comes to hang up her netball shoes, she would like to continue pursuing her climatological path and perhaps play an important part in the fight against the effects of global warming. Particularly in the agricultural sector she concluded. For now, however, it is all about studying and netball – and no boys, there is no space for love at this stage.