17 December 2018 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa
Karla takes netball world by storm
Karla Pretorius, vice-captain of the Protea netball team, has become a leading player in world netball.

The University of the Free State (UFS) has produced a number of exceptional netball players over the years, but none quite on the level of Karla Pretorius, who is widely considered as probably the very best in her position.


A whole new level

Pretorius, who is completing her postgraduate studies in Dietetics, was already deemed one of the best when she left for Australia at the end of 2016; however, she has since risen to a whole new level. The Protea vice-captain plays for the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball league, the world’s leading competition. She is scheduled to return there again next year. Karla comfortably leads the stats with a total of 50 intercepts and was named in the Team of the Tournament.


According to the former Australian coach, Norma Plummer, who is now at the helm of the Proteas, “Karla currently has to be one of the best, if not the best, goal defenders playing at this moment in time.”


Karla’s ability to come through with speed-anticipating interceptions is something that is so exciting to watch. She is very versatile and can switch from one-on-one to split circle or other defensive styles, explained Norma. She says Karla is light in stature but physically very strong.


Keep on improving


According to Pretorius, who played for the Kovsies between 2009 and 2015, playing in an environment where every possible aspect gets attention – with emphasis on detail – has benefited her immensely. “Everything is done so professionally to eventually push you to become the best possible player.” Karla explained that she experiences challenges in many fields of her life but has the chance to play with and against the best players with different skills, which helps her to keep on improving and bettering her craft.

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