Youngster making moves in netball

BORN 16 years ago in Nyangana in Kavango East region, Innocentia Masati could not help but to feel excited after her call-up to the national U-19 netball team that will be going to Malawi to take part in the African Union Sports Council (AUSCRegion 5 Youth Games at the end of the year.

The teenager plays as a shooter for her beloved club Shankara Netball Club with her twin sister Crisentia, who was not called up for the national team.

Masati who goes by the nickname Petty started playing netball at the tender age of 10 with her twin sister when they were at Kangili-Ngili Netball Club.

“I started playing when I was 10 years old. For the love of netball, my twin sister and I used to go to the netball field and play with fellow kids before the old players began their training. When old players would start, we used to stand on the side and watch how it is done, like positioning of legs after receiving the ball, how to aim and shoot.

“I was playing for Kangili-Ngili from 2016 to 2018 before I moved to Shankara since 2019. I am also in the Kavango East regional U-17 team,” she told Confidente.

Despite playing for Shankara, Masati has made no secret that she grew up admiring Ntunguru Netball Club also in the Kavango East, one of the best netball clubs in that part of the region.

Ntunguru defeated Shankara in the third division champions’ league match.

Shankara is a netball club from Shinyungwe, a settlement in which Olympic silver medalist Christine Mboma was born.

Shankara plays in the Masoya League third division.

Said Masati: “Whenever I lose a match I lose my cool and cry as I hate losing. Therefore I always cry to release the emotions. My twin sister is the best player I have enjoyed playing alongside and it is a shame she is not in the national team with me. The best coach for me is Ngura Ghumba.”

Not every player gets the opportunity to be called up for national duty, and her call up has opened doors for other young netball players that dream of representing the country.

Playing for the national team will require commitment, hard work, determination and a strong character, especially with the type of players already in the squad, in particular those playing for top clubs in the MTC Namibia Netball Premier League.

“Taking part in the U-19 national trial is one of the biggest highlights in my career, because it was also my first time to come to Windhoek. My twin sister is my favourite player because we know each other very well such as the movement, communications and she passes me balls so that I can score based on my movement.

“It is going to be tough not being with her, but it is what it is. I will therefore give it my all to succeed just for her, my parents and my region. My dream is to become a superstar like Christine Mboma so that I travel to different countries,” said Masati.

*Article was contributed by Kaghugongo Vumbu Shingereshu, founder of National Sports Zone magazine