Bittler a seasoned netball star
By Michael Uugwanga
AFROCAT Lions Netball Club and Desert Jewels centre and wing, Selma Bittler, has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the past few years and her star looks set to soar even higher even though she is in the twilight of her netball career.
Born and raised in Walvis Bay, Bittler developed the love for netball at the tender age of seven and has not looked back ever since.
Bittler is married to Dimitri Bittler, the co-founder of Afrocat Lions Netball Club that competes in the Khomas Region Netball League.
The two have been married for seven years.
“I started playing netball when I was in grade one and at 15 I was selected for the Erongo regional netball team while I was schooling at Kuisebmond Secondary School. A few years later I moved to Windhoek and attended trials but I failed, and I was so disappointed that I did not make it as I felt that I was never given a fair chance. I remember when I came back home telling my husband about the failed trials, that is when my husband and I decided to form our own team on condition that that he coaches me and I play,” said Bittler., who says she is lucky to have a supportive husband.
“I lost my father when I was 12, so to survive I had to start working at a young age at Fashion World during school holidays, so my sister and I practically raised ourselves. My husband gave up his rugby life and started a netball team for me, despite what people may say about him being a netball coach,” said Bittler.
Today, Bittler has established herself as a national team asset even though she entered the national set-up at a later stage of her netball career.
Bittler was part of the national team that was at the Spar Netball Challenge last month in Cape Town and was also part of the Desert Jewels winning team at the 2019 M1 Nations Cup in Singapore.
Her netball idol is retired New Zealander Laura Langman and regards current Desert Jewels coach Julene Meyer as one of the best.
“The reason why I was never called up for national trials in the past is because I think I was not ready. I made my national team debut in 2018 when Manuel ‘Mansie’ Tjivera was coach during the World Cup qualifiers in Zambia.
“Meyer really knows what she is doing in such a short time as national team coach. I have learned so many things from her and I have so much respect for her because she has patience, but what I admire most about her is that she believes in every player,” said Bittler.
Besides playing netball, Bittler is a full-time assistant accountant with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture but before that she was a volunteer netball coach at A.Shipena Secondary School in Windhoek.