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Mixing Things Up in the M1 Netball Super League

It has reached crunch time in the M1 Netball Super League (NSL) this year…round two kicked off on Sunday and with it came the addition of six international players to mix up the dynamics of each team and also some of the results!

Three players from Tanzania; two from Botswana; and one from Fiji join us this year. They have all been to Singapore before whether it’s been for the World Cup, Nations Cup, NSL or a combination of the above.

Alesi Waqa (age 30), is making her NSL debut, having been part of the Fiji side in Singapore for the 2011 World Cup (She also played in the 2015 competition in Sydney) and Nations Cup the same year. A shining example of a real life ‘super mum’ – she has two sons who keep her busy and has left them back home with her family for the next fours weeks to pursue her passion for the game of netball.

She played her first game for Mission Mannas on Sunday and adapted well to the style of play here. She says, “I have played Singapore a few times so I know how they play and their club game is quite similar to home, just a lot less physical, so I can adapt very quickly here.

“It’s hard being away from the family but this is an important opportunity for my netball career. I love the sport; I have been playing since I was 6 years old and followed in my mum’s footsteps. The hardest thing about this trip is tuning into the local slang and adjusting to this heat!!!”

Hildah Binang and Letang Mogotlhwane of Botswana have both played in the NSL and Nations Cup before.

This is Hildah’s third outing in the NSL, and this year the 22 year old shooter joins Tiger Sharks. Letang is the youngest player this year – only 19 years old – has been added to the defensive line up for last year’s champions Sneakers Stingrays. She is not only focusing on improving her netball game but continuing her studies at the same time.

“I am studying for a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management back home. I am studying as much as I can here, before and after training and matches. I am used to this and have found a balance to make it work for me. It is am honour and privilege to be back in Singapore and Netball Singapore has made us feel very welcome once again. We hope to learn a lot and share our experience with our teammates when we return to Botswana,” she said.

Lilian Sylidion, Irene Kanile and Sophie Komba are representing Tanzania. They all played in the Nations Cup in 2011 and 2012, and Lilian (aged 24) also played in 2011 and has been part of the NSL experience twice before while her compatriots are both making their debuts. They all hold down a full time job as a secretary at their Government offices but are given special exemption to make the trip to Singapore to develop their netball skills.

Mother of one, Sophie (age 30), who is in the Magic Marlins team said, “This is a great place for us to develop our netball. We get very few chances to travel out of Africa so we are going to learn a lot and take it back to Tanzania. We will hold training sessions with our teammates and share what we learn at the national and team training sessions.”

Lilian (age 24) who is a defender has joined Blaze Dolphins this year and Irene (23) who will face her friend in the circle as a GS/GA is with Fier Orcas – the new team to the NSL this year.
What’s the hardest thing for the Tanzanian girls to get used to? The Food!

Lilian adds, “The food in Singapore is very good, but very different to back home. We need to get used to eating things other than chicken and chips!”

We are sure there are so many options in Singapore that they will have no trouble finding other tasty delights to enjoy and their Singapore teammates will point them in the right direction.

Catch all six players in action this weekend as the competition continues.