Zanele Mdodana – Maties Netball Head Coach

Maties Sport Women’s Month Articles

“Grace. Grit. The will to lead.”

During the month of August – widely celebrated as Women’s Month in South Africa – we at Maties Sport will take the opportunity to celebrate some of the extraordinary women who – with grit and grace – makes a difference in the lives of our student-athletes and the university sport environment.

Zanele Mdodana – Maties Netball Head Coach

She is all about being brave and bold. On and next to the netball courts of the world. As a mother. As a woman.

The name Zanele Mdodana might just as well mean never retreat, never surrender. As a player she was known as a fierce competitor and as coach she is known to bring out that something in players and teams that nobody but her knew and believe they have.

For many Zanele might not have been the obvious choice as Maties Netball Head Coach but appointing her in 2017 was a stroke of genius if nothing else. Coach Zan has been on a mission since her first day on the job.

“I want to leave a legacy of excellence. I want to achieve what never has been achieved at Maties Netball before. I want to set the standard for future generations of coaches at Maties Netball,” said Zanele.

With every action or decision, she takes, being a woman is front and centre of her mind. She not only wants to pave the way for her players or other coaches, but also women in general.

“Women’s month means more emphasis on women. It is the deliberate recognition of who we are and highlighting the significant role we play in society.”

She added with fierceness: “Women in sport need more recognition. Also, equality. Equal pay and professionalising our sports. And the much-needed acceptance that Siya Kolisi and Bongi Msomi is equal…different, but equal.”

As a role-model to many young girls Zanele gives some sage advice. “Keep your eyes fixed on the goal. Your dreams are valid. Never throw in the towel.”