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Sport
Gordon’s Bay netball team revived

The Gordon’s Bay Saints Netball Team of Temperance Town has been revived after being dormant for several years, made worse by months of lockdown restrictions.

The coach is 36-year-old Rochelda Essau, a Temperance Town local who has been a significant netball figure since her school days.

“We started the Blue Strikers netball team about 18 years ago in Temperance Town,” she recalled, speaking from the sidelines of a game on Saturday 5 September. “But that team is no more, and the GB Saints are reviving the once proud netball culture in this community.”

The GB Saints provide more than just a netball team for all girls from age groups u-9 to the senior team. Factors such as keeping fit and healthy are some of the benefits, but it’s more about having a sense of belonging, discipline, motivation and a sense of purpose beyond the everyday challenges they face.

“We spread the word in the community that we are planning this revival, and dozens of girls came out in support,” Essau said. “We just started about three weeks ago and it’s been a tough start. Many of the girls are unfit, but we also have very limited resources.”

More than 30 girls have joined the team and it’s just a matter of time before they join the local Helderberg League. “We are improving daily, and the community has really supported this initiative. The parents have really been there for us.”

Belia Basson, who runs the Temperance Town Community Action Network responsible for various initiatives such as feeding, health and wellness programmes throughout the community, says her group has also encouraged the girls to participate, as a means of instilling respect, manners and discipline.

“We’ve also encouraged life-skills being taught, for we want the girls to be able to deal with challenges they face or reach out to us, and we will assist. We want them to know that beyond netball all the girls belong to one family.”.

The GB Saints played their first competitive game on Saturday in a match against Erijaville. Despite coming off second best there were promising signs, said Essau.

The players were also treated to a meal after the game and are regularly provided with other essential personal items as the need arises.

Essau said the team is still in need of basic netball resources, such as balls, kits, a proper surface and netball poles. If anyone is willing to assist with supplying these Rochelda can be contacted on 074 367 7023.

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