Karla Pretorius
Professional Athlete & Dietician


  • BSc Dietetics (2014)
  • MSc Dietetics (2018)

Karla Pretorius graduated with a BSc Dietetics degree from the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2014. She has a passion for academic writing and recently completed her master’s degree in Dietetics/Sports Nutrition at the UFS. As a registered dietician, she worked as community-service dietician for the Mangaung University Community Partnership Programme in 2015. 

Pretorius has been a professional netball player since 2015/2016, with experience at national and international level. She is regularly involved in net-ball coaching and is currently pursuing a Diploma in Sports Management as well as Netball South Africa level 2 coaching accreditation. She has excellent leadership skills and a thorough knowledge of netball, with a strong capability of developing and implementing netball sessions and programmes.

Team Bath in England contracted her to play in the Vitality Netball Super League for the 2015/2016 season. She is now playing professional netball in Australia, where she represents the Sunshine Coast Lightning team in the Suncorp Super Netball League. 

Pretorius represented and later captained the Kovsie netball team between 2009 and 2015. During that time, she scooped one award after the other. In 2014 and 2015, she was the Varsity Player of the Year. She also represented the Free State provincial team, the Crinums, and is vice-captain of the South African national netball team, the Proteas. Karla was the first South African netball player to field for a side in the new Australian National Netball League in 2017. 

Among others, she represented the Spar Proteas in the SANZEA Quad Series from 2016 to 2019, in the test series against Wales in 2016, and in the Diamond Challenge in 2016 and 2018. She was also part of the Free State senior team at the Spar National Championship in Durban in 2016. In 2018, Karla represented team South Africa at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

At the recent Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, Pretorius was named Player of the Tournament on Sunday 21 July 2019, making her officially the world’s best netballer. She was twice named Player of the Match during the World Cup, and her 20 intercepts were the joint third most. According to the organisers, the fact that South Africa reached the final four for the first time since 1995, was in no small way thanks to her impeccable reading of the game, timing, and composure. She has carried herself both on and off court with huge distinction and has rightly claimed this honour.

Other accolades include the Kovsies Senior Sportswoman of the Year (2016), Volksblad Senior Sportswoman of the Year (2016 and 2017), Free State Sportswoman of the Year (2017 and 2018), and Volksblad Sportsperson of the year (2018).

In her free time, Karla loves to travel, especially taking road trips to small towns in South Africa.

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