14 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Reg Caldecott
Khanyisa Chawane
Khanyisa Chawane, whose star shone brightly in 2018. She was crowed as the best player in three different competitions and made her debut for the Proteas.

The 2018 netball season was throughout very special and successful. It ended on an all-time high with the Kovsie team winning the Varsity Netball trophy in front of a packed Callie Human Centre. It was their third Varsity Netball crown in the six years of the competition, but the first time they managed a home final.

They defeated Tuks by 63-59 in the final of the University Sport South Africa tournament, which was hosted in Bloemfontein for the first time since 1998. They were only defeated once – with a single goal by the Madibaz. It was a remarkable turnaround, as the Kovsies lost to Tuks by 18 goals only three months before.

At the National championship, the Free State, consisting completely of Kovsie players, made it to the final where they fell short. The Free State Crinums, also a de facto Kovsie team with all 15 squad members doing courses at the university in 2018, ended fourth in the Premier League.

A number of individuals stood out, but no more so than Khanyisa Chawane. She was named the best player in the Premier League, the National champs, and the Varsity competition; something that hasn’t been achieved in South African netball before. She also made her debut for the national senior team. Another player who had an incredible year is Karla Pretorius. She is continuing her postgraduate studies while playing professionally overseas.

She has established herself as arguably the best in the world in her position as goal defence.

Other players who made national teams were: Alicia Puren (SA Students), Sikholiwe Mdletshe (SA Students and SA U20), Khomotso Mamburu (SA Fast5), and Lefébre Rademan (SA A).

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