28 October 2021

Baloyi’s star is shining bright. The opportunity to play on some of the biggest courts, such as the recent Telkom Netball Championships, is the moment every young aspiring sport’s star, dreams of.

“My talent is stronger than me. It is every young girl’s dream to play in the national team. It was an honour to be there and witness the greatness of representing my own district. I believe that this is the beginning and I’m looking forward to becoming a national player," she says.

”The experience was amazing and will forever remain one of the highlights of 2021 – a close second only to having been accepted to study at the University of Mpumalanga,” she says. “Being in the competition knowing that I am not only representing myself but also the District, the University as well as my community, was huge honour for me. Throughout the tournament I learnt a lot.”

Baloyi, who also plays for UMP netball team, is paving her way for international recognition. “Every opportunity I get, I grab with both hands. I am known as the star of the court. Every ball I catch is counted by the smiles on the bench. I am a netballer who is always ready to implement instruction, take notes and become a game changer. I am dedicated to every minute of the game.”

The star fell in love with netball at a young age. She was only 9 years old when she took to the court for the first time. She’s never looked back, and has never stopped playing.

“When the Nkangala District netball trials took place, Baloyi says she was nervous and curious about the selection. “It was my first time to attend trials. I didn’t have confidence but I knew that my talent and dedication were going to carry me through. When I was selected to represent Nkangala District at the Telkom Junior Netball Championship, it felt like a dream.”


Inspired to be her best 

Baloyi is inspired by Proteas netball captain Bongiwe Msomi, who is the third-highest capped South African netball player (126), and is aiming to continue her stellar reign to the Netball World Cup edition, which South Africa will host in Cape Town in 2023.

“I look up to Msomi. She inspires me to do my best and give it my all, and has shown be that my achieving my dreams is possible. She’s encouraged me to never stop believing in myself. She’s determined and dedicated to her career and her success gives me hope and faith that one day I will also be able to represent South Africa.”

The student teacher is not only excelling on the court, she is also doing well in her academics. She plans to pursue netball as a teacher, post her graduation.

"I passionately believe that I will create great opportunities for my learners. I want to change things and be there for young girls who have potential in netball,” she adds.

“I have explored my talent, I have learnt from my mistakes and I have learnt things that I did not know before. I believe that this is still the beginning and therefore I’m looking forward to greater opportunities in the coming years. This has been an incredible opportunity that the University of Mpumalanga has afforded me.”

@ Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures Supplied.