One of our national netball star Precious Mthembu believes all she has ever achieved in her entire life has a positive impact towards the youth of South Africa. Here she shares her road to success with UNIQ MAGAZINE.

MARGATE, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 16: Precious Mtembu of SPAR South Africa in action against Zambia during day 1 of the Diamond Challenge netball tournament at UGU Sports Centre on June 16, 2015 in Margate, South Africa. (Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)
MARGATE, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 16: Precious Mtembu of SPAR South Africa in action against Zambia during day 1 of the Diamond Challenge netball tournament at UGU Sports Centre on June 16, 2015 in Margate, South Africa. (Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)

As a young girl growing up in the grimy streets of KwaNyuswa in Botha’s Hill in KwaZulu -Natal, all Precious Mthembu ever wanted, was to become one of South Africa’s shining stars. Preshy as she is now well known, lives and breathes netball. She has exceeded her own expectations, as she is now an international netball player. She is a star player in the South African National netball team, the Proteas, where she still dreams of living her life and experiencing the world to the fullest.

Precious is also the Sports Director at Inanda Seminary Girls High School, a high academic achieving school, located at Inanda, North of Durban. This is where she is giving back her God- given talent to young students studying there. She teaches the youngsters to enjoy sports in order to achieve their sporting goals because once they apply too much pressure they will not be able to achieve their goals with joy.

When sharing her success with UNIQ MAGAZINE, the now 30 year old Preshy insisted that God is at the center of her success and that she has not forgotten God in all her ways; even when she has piles of work to do, God and family come first in her life. “Spending time in the presence of God keeps me grounded and at peace. No matter how much I succeed I give all glory and honour to God always. I spend most of my spare time with my two older brothers and my younger sister; that is where I get positive upliftment,” she said.

Precious’ love for netball started when she was at primary school in KwaNyuswa in 1997, playing for various local clubs. She then joined a tea called the Pumas in 2004, where she played her first competitive game in the tournament held in Hoy Park in Durban. That is where her life took a turn for the positive. She displayed such skill during that game, that she was selected to be a player of the EThekwini Municipality team which took part in the KWANALOGA games in Zululand in 2006. That is where she was spotted by National selectors to join Proteas team; from there she has never looked back. “It was difficult to break through the starting line up at that time as there were too many experienced players who were playing in my position. However, I managed to adapt easily to the team withBpskpE3CMAIChpW the help of Cindy Gumede, who used to speak positive words to me and we communicated well on and off the field,” Preshy said.

In 2009 Mthembu was selected to be the vice-captain of a team called Lizo Wium, when the Proteas were on tour in England to play in the test series. That is where she began to make her international footprint as she progressed to become captain of the team when they played in the All Africa Games in Mozambique, the Cosana Games and the Tri-Nation tournaments. She was viewed as a good candidate for captain when the Proteas traveled to New Zealand to play in the World Cup in the same year.

She has received many accolades for her outstanding performance on the netball court. Her hard work and dedication to the game paid off when she was selected as player of the series, when the Proteas were playing against Ireland in Cape Town in 2011. She was also part of the team when the Proteas was crowned as the Best Netball team in Africa in 2010.
“The highlights of my career were when we won the Diamond Challenge in Gauteng in 2011 and beating England for the first time in the history of SA Netball when we played them in the Tri Nation Test in 2012,” said Precious.

As a school coach, Precious has not achieved any awards but she knows these blessings are coming. Although, through her guidance of teaching her students discipline, she has produced four KwaZulu -Natal Netball players. She has also successfully implemented a Healthy Life Style amongst her players. These are achievements she is proud of since she started coaching in 2006. “I dedicate all my achievements to my late parents who died in 2004 and 2012 respectively,” she said.

Precious told UNIQ MAGAZINE that she is not married, but she is in a relationship. “But Sport will always hold a special place in my heart,” she says with a smile. Preshy is now busy preparing herself for the tough, upcoming 2014 season for the National team as they are preparing for the road to the Commonwealth Games which will take place in Scotland, as well as the test series against England and the Diamond Challenge in the USA.

As she is also part of the KZN provincial squad, she will be part of the team that will take part in a newly formed National Provincial League. Like any dedicated sportsperson, Preshy is keeping herself fit by training with the local netball team Happy Club at Inanda Glebe.

“A healthy lifestyle, a good spiritual grounding and loving the sport you play, is what it takes to get to the top of the game,” advises Preshy.

Date of birth : 11th July 1984
Hometown : Durban
Occupation : Student
Height : 1.71m
Playing Position : WD, GD
Caps : 15
League Representation : Mermaids
Provincial Representation : KZN
Nickname : Preshy
Playing History: 2007 : SA England Tour, Malawi, Botswana and Uganda Test Series,
World Netball Championships,
2008 : The SPAR Challenge: SA vs. Barbados
2009 : All Africa Games Mozambique; the Cosana Games and the Tri-Nation tournaments
2011 : Diamond Challenge in Gauteng, SA vs England
2012 : Tri Nations, Port Elizabeth, SA vs England, Trinidad & Tobago
2013 : Africa Championships, Malawi, SA vs England