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It’s good to have Lenize Potgieter back in the international mix after taking a break in 2021. Lenize was recently selected for the SPAR Proteas’ international series against Wales in Cardiff (19 and 20 July 2022) and will also be part of Team South Africa going to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (28 July – 8 August 2022). She currently has 81 international caps and is super excited to wear the green and gold again. Lenize was also part of Australia’s Adelaide Thunderbirds playing Suncorp Super Netball. Lenize answered some of our questions as the team prepares for their upcoming internationals.

We’re so excited to chat to you and thank you for your time. A lot has been going on in your life and maybe we should start checking in with you first: How is Lenize doing?
Thank you for chatting with me. Lenize is doing well. She still has her blue days, but they’re less than previous years. I’ve had a lot of support and help along my journey and I’m super grateful for each person who’s played a role. I’ve found strategies to help me through the darker days and keep my spirit up.

The last time you played for South Africa was in 2020 against Malawi in the SPAR Challenge, how does it feel to be back in the squad?
I’m really excited to be back with my green and gold family. Giving and receiving bear hugs from the girls after 10 months’ absence really made my heart smile and soul lit up!

You’ve built up some valuable experience playing down under. What are some of the key things you’ve learned about the sport in Australia?
What I’ve learned while playing in Australia is that they’re beasts on court and don’t take pity on you. They get the job done and have that trust in each other to give passes into space – making the ball do the work. Also, they like playing the short game. They’d rather play lateral and short passes to keep possession instead of playing risky netball.

You missed out on the 2018 CWG in Gold Coast due to injury? How has that disappointment developed you as an athlete?
I absolutely love the Commonwealth Games. Missing it in 2018 really affected me, but I was adamant to join Team SA this year, so I wanted to ensure I’m in the best possible condition before heading out, thus the reason to take a break in 2021, physically and mentally, and get ready for this year.

What are you looking forward to for the 2022 CWG in Birmingham?
What I’m really excited about for the 2022 Commonwealth Games is the village ESPECIALLY the food hall – LOL. They have so much variety because of all the countries and cultures and I’m excited to experience that again.

What does it mean to you that the 2023 Netball World Cup is coming to SA?
How cool is it that the Netball World Cup is coming to SA! I just want the other countries to experience our culture and see what South African spirit is all about.

Do you have a special message for South Africa?
Back Team Mzansi through it all with positive and encouraging vibes!