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In anticipation of the 2020 Telkom Netball League season we reached out to last year’s best Centre Court player, Jo Prins from the Western Cape Southern Stings, to hear how she’s doing and to get to know her a little bit better.

Some background information before we get the questions going.

Nickname: Jo’tjie
Date of Birth: 1995-10-01
Place of Birth: Bredasdorp
Place of Residence (Current City): Somerset West
Height (cm’s): 169cm
Playing Position(s): WA/C/WD

NSA: Hi Jo, tell us, how did it feel when you learned you were the 2019 Telkom Netball League Best Centre Court Player?
JP: Firstly, all glory to God. It was lovely and humbling receiving the recognition, but a player is only as good as their team allows them to be. I was blessed with amazing teammates and supporting management. It’s a team sport at the end of the day.

NSA: Apart from winning best centre court, what were your playing or Telkom Netball League tournament highlights?
JP: The semi-final was great and our pre-game dance was always a highlight.

NSA: How did your netball story begin?
JP: I started playing when I was 5, but I grew up next to the netball court. My older sister played provincial and actually went to Singapore with the U/18 SA Team. But we got it from our momma. She played during Apartheid and they were SA champs, SASSA 1981, PE. My mom played Centre.

NSA: Any people who’ve played a major role in your career development thus far?
JP: Definitely my sister and my parents. My parents are real proper netball parents and super supportive. And all my coaches, from the first day of playing up until now, each one of them has taught me something on and off the court and helped shape the person and player I am today.

NSA: You also won Maties Sport’s Sportswoman of the Year award last year after a great season with Maties Netball, was it a big surprise?
JP: I was super surprised, because I didn’t even know I was nominated and it was just such an honor to even be considered for the award, but to have actually won was beyond, it was such a full circle moment for me after the journey I have had with the club and the best way to end off my Varsity Netball career. It was really special and definitely a career highlight.

NSA: When you’re not training or playing netball, what is it you get up to?
JP: I spend time with my loved ones, online schooling, help out with clinics, social media managing and do some modeling.

NSA: How have you been keeping busy during this period of isolation?
JP: I’ve been training at home, listening to podcasts, watching online sermons, doing online school, spending time with loved ones and having movie/series binge dates with my partner.

NSA: Who thus far has been your toughest opponent(s) and why?
JP: I always loved playing against Erin Burger, she was such a great opponent, because she played such a clean and skilled game and that was always a great challenge to try and counter that. I still remember playing against Bongi the first time when I was 18 and that was such a great challenge because of her speed and fitness and I absolutely loved it. And last year I was fortunate enough to play against Natalie Haythornthwaite of the England Roses during a practice match and her change of direction was insane and such a great test for my defense skills. I loved it!

Rapid Fire – Jo’s Favourite:
Player/Role Model: I used to love watching Natalie von Bertouch play growing up, currently I love Laura Langman and Karla Pretorius
Exercise or Drill: I love defense drills
Meal: Burger & Chips
Drink: Coke
TV show or Movie: (This is hard) But let’s go with the series Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale
Song: (Stop this, I can’t pick! I love music!) Best Part – Daniel Caeser (feat. H.E.R.)
Book: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
App: Instagram
Holiday: Bali
Quote: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.” – St. Jerome

NSA: What skills are important to perfect centre court play?
JP: Fast feet, quick and good hands and you have to be agile and have stamina. As a centre court player you need to be physically and mentally fit and intellectually strong. You must be able to adapt to what the game requires. And you must be able to flow from attack to defense seamlessly. As a centre court player you are the link on court and determine the flow of the game.

NSA: Any advice out there for netballers currently playing or who would like to get into the sport?
JP: The game is evolving at a rapid pace and requires you to be fitter, faster and stronger. Bare minimum won’t cut it. And hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. So my advice would be to work hard and put in extra, but also remember to enjoy it and trust the process. Always remember why you started playing in the first place.