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24 March 2021 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Netball South Africa
Defender Refiloe Nketsa is one of four Kovsies chosen for the South African U21 netball team.

With no less than four Kovsies in the South African Under 21 netball team, the near future for this sport at the University of the Free State (UFS) is certainly on the bright side.

Chanel Vrey, Refiloe Nketsa, Rolene Streutker, and Boitumelo Mahloko will be in action for the Baby Proteas, as the team is known, in a challenge series. The team will battle the President’s XII (a South African A team) and Uganda from 25 March in Cape Town. 

They all played for the Free State senior side last year. Vrey and Streutker also played for the Baby Proteas against international competition in 2019.

Mahloko – a former Kovsie – and Nketsa have also represented South Africa at junior level in the past. They were team members in the national U16 team in 2017, and a year later Mahloko made the U20 team and Nketsa the SA U18 team.

Khanyisa Chawane will also be in action in the series, playing for the Proteas, while former Kovsie captain Alicia Puren has been chosen for the President’s XII.

Meanwhile, two hockey players, Saré Laubscher and Zimkhitha Weston, have been picked for the South African U21 women’s hockey team. They would have participated in the African qualifying tournament in Ghana at the end of March. This tournament has, however, been postponed to January 2022. 

This is the third consecutive year that Laubscher has made the team. Weston, a former Kovsie, played for South Africa at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.

The African Hockey Qualifier serves as qualification for the Junior World Cup, which is scheduled for December in Potchefstroom. South Africa has already qualified as hosts for the Junior World Cup, but the African crown is up for grabs in Ghana. 

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