Zanele Vimbela is a professional Netball player who plays on the defence for The Spar Proteas South African Netball team, and internationally, for the the UK based Strathclyde Sirens in the Vitality Netball Superleague. We, at SARTORI™ asked this amazing female athlete a few questions that will interest you about this superstar!
Firstly Zan, where were you born + raised?
I was born in Lenasia but grew up in a small town, Aliwal North, for most of my life.
Why Netball? What made you fall in love with Netball?
I actually was not a big fan of netball at first, mainly because of the position I played in primary school (GS), and I was more interested in kicking a ball instead, but I really started enjoying it once I switched positions to defence in high school.
What does it mean for you to represent your country at the highest level?
It sort of gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your hard work does pay off, it is the highest honour that you get from representing your country and making everyone around you proud, and anything is possible.
Tell us about your favourite Sporting Experience.
There are a few of them, one of them being the 2013 Varsity netball campaign with the NMU team and the journey shared with everyone in the team.
Tell us about your Hardest Training Session.
There were a number of them, including ones from NMU netball, with Lana Krige as head coach, there would be gym sessions at 6am before lectures and court training in the evening, you couldn’t walk off or finish the session without having done each drill properly, or running lines and not drop pace. You had to leave the court drenched in sweat EVERY time.
What has been the hardest thing about being a professional athlete during COVID-19?
With the uncertainty about the future during this period, the only thing I had to do, is to keep fit, because you never know when you might return to court. Staying prepared was a challenge, especially over a long period of time.
What has 2020 taught you, and how will you take those lessons into this year?
That these unprecedented moments can be tough to go along with, as you don’t know what the future holds, but we should never take anything for granted. Stay positive and stay prepared for what is to come.
If you were not an athlete, what would you be?
I would probably be involved in forensics.
Tell us the story of your first kiss.
LOL it is a vague memory, but I think I was 14 or 15 at an athletics stadium. Felt kinda awkward, but then again at that age you don’t know any better.
What is your favourite Meal to cook?
Steak, Corn on a cob, fried potato and greens or salad.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Say a prayer, make my bed then plan my day.
How do you relax / what do you do in your downtime?
I love to do puzzles with 1000 or more pieces, reading, or watching sports (NBA).
What inspires you?
Family, and also sharing the small successes with them.
Working hard to come back better after injury.
Zan, you are true inspiration to the nation, to every child wanting to peruse a career in Netball. Thank you for your time. Keep that passion alive focusing on your recovery, we can’t wait to see you on the court again!