SPOTLIGHT on Mupiri, netball player

By Kaghugongo  Shingereshu 

Name: Mechitilde Mupiri 
Nickname: Tenya 
DOB: 06/03/1986 
Age: 34 
POB: Rundu Town  

When and where did it all start, in regards to playing netball? 
I started playing when I was at Noordgrens Secondary School in Rundu. 
How many teams and clubs have you played for to date? 
This is a long one. 
I played for Noordgrens then a regional team and Kavango U/19. 
– Cuca Tops, Tropical Heat, Rundu Vocational Technical College (RVTC), and Shining Stars. 
I went on to represent Namibia at the African Cup of Nations in Ghana in 2004 where I was the youngest player on the team. 
My first cap for Namibia was the U/19 team to Stellenbosch in 2011. 
In 2011 I also played for the national team in Singapore where I was the vice-captain. 
I am currently playing for Black Africa Netball team in the Khomas Region Netball League. 
I have also played for the Tertiary Institutes Sports Association of Namibia  (TISAN), while at the same time I was playing for the national team with which I went to represent my country in South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana to mention a few. 
Name the best player you played with from your first club? 
My two sisters, Anna Mupiri and Letty Mupiri. (We are good like that) 
Which position do you play and why that position? 
Goal Attack/Goal Shooter; the pressure at this position is intense. I have to get the ball and come shoot or else we lose. I always rise under pressure. 
Are you an amateur netball player or professional player? 
Who was your sports hero growing up as a child? 
Maria Tutaia – New Zealand shooter. Many have said I play like her. 
Which teams/clubs do you support? 
Regionally – Shining Stars 
National – Black Africa 
International – New Zealand 
Apart from netball, what other sports interest you? 
I’m also a former basketball player. I played for the national team for two years (2003-2004). 
I also play volleyball for Sport Klub Windhoek (SKW). 
Who was the toughest opponent you ever faced? 
Amanda Mynhardt (Goalkeeper for South Africa)  
Who was the best coach you played under and why? 
Helena Oliphant. She took me under her wings and trusted me to do my best. 
Which one is your most memorable match and why? 
Namibia vs Sri Lanka 2011- (Singapore). We were the underdogs but we stood up to the challenge and won. 
The highest moment of your career? 
Winning the Kavango Region Sportswoman of the Year 2012 (before the splitting of the region). 
The lowest moment of your career? 
I injured my knee last year and could not play the rest of the season. 
Your favourite local netball player and why? 
Jatjinda ‘Toetsi’ Tjihero because we started off as rivals but became the best of teammates. 
Your international favourite netball player and why? 
Maria Tutaia. I love her style of play – sharp shooter just like me. 
Who inspired you to start playing netball? 
My family, I come from a home where we all play sports so I guess it’s in the blood. My parents played and so it passed down to all their kids. And now our kids are also playing. 
When are you planning to retire from the court? 
Next year. 
What is next in sport after retirement? 
Coaching and managing. 
What is the secret to success and longevity in netball? 
Hard work and determination. 
What advice can you give to young upcoming netball players from this region and Namibia at large? 
Fitness is key. Forget alcohol and drugs. Play from the heart to love the game. 
Your greatest achievement in netball thus far? 
Having the honour to represent netball on all levels, meeting people from all works of life coming together for one cause which is sports. 
The one thing that needs improvement to better the affairs of netball in our region? 
The structure and facilities. 
Any general comment on the welfare of netball? 
Girls need to be hungry for the game. We had to work hard to make it to the national team. It’s not going to be handed to you. It’s going to be tough but worth it in the long run.