#ExtraTime with Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane
Born and raised in Limpopo, Cecilia Molokwane discovered netball while hanging around her sister. While it attracted her attention, she also showed promise in a variety of sports while being taught at a Roman Catholic school.
“Netball was not my first passion,” she told EWN Sport. “I was a sprinter, 100 meters, and 200 meters. I was also into softball because my brother was also into it. But eventually, I had to choose where I want to be”.
That decision would come when she was accepted into the University of Limpopo.
She recalls what it was like to be a black player at a time when the sport was becoming integrated after years of apartheid segregation.
"It was the 1994 amalgamation when Netball South Africa came together to be what it is. The whites, blacks and coloureds. I was there. I was a player. I’m not like other people, I was there. That’s when I said ‘okay, netball is my career’ and I was selected into the under-21 squad and I was shocked because coming from the north, where netball is not much of a sport that is not recognised."
During her career, Molokwane has gone from player, referee, administrator, and now President of Netball SA and Netball Africa.
Reflecting on the progress over the last two years – which has seen the Spar Proteas finished fourth at the World Cup and winners of the Africa Cup, Molokwane believes it serves as motivation for players who might wonder what the sport offers after retirement.
As one of a few female presidents in the sports arena, Molokwane admits now her aim is to mentor other young women to follow in her footsteps.
“I want to start with 5,10 girls and take them through (the process) ask them what they want to do and how I can help. Because we tend to tell people what to do and not listen to what they want done,” she said.
While she aims to make netball in the country professional and ensure they have a great showing at the 2023 World Cup, some sectors of society have questioned when the men’s game will be supported as much as the women’s game.
For Molokwane, that is not her focus.
“I believe in our men and they know I believe in them and I want them to be part of us and I want them to enjoy the sport they love because we cannot segregate from them wanting to be men and play netball. We have to support them and support their quest but for now, let’s be realistic. Let me focus on building one brand first."
This article first appeared on EWN : #ExtraTime with Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane
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