Netball star named Laureus SA ambassador


20 March 2014

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Trust South Africa announced the inclusion of netballer Zanele Mdodana in its elite group of sports star ambassadors at a media conference in Centurion on Monday.

Mdodana also participated in coaching youngsters from the Laureus “Sport for All” programme in Atteridgeville, who were hosted by Mercedes Benz South Africa at their 2014 Employee Volunteer Week activities.

Laureus has a long and distinguished history of using the power of sport to nurture the young South African leaders of tomorrow.

‘Passion and dedication’

Morne du Plessis, the chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Trust South Africa, said at the media conference: “The passion and dedication of the Laureus ambassadors is a major driver of the success of our social upliftment programmes. We thank Zanele for accepting the nomination to join our ambassadors, and look forward to a long and successful association with her.”

Joining Du Plessis to welcome Mdodana to the fold were fellow Laureus ambassadors mountaineer Deshun Deysel, former rugby international and radio talk show host John Robbie, and Paralympian Natalie du Toit.

Mdodana is a leading sports coordinator at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She has represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Games and is again in contention for the Games, which take place in Glasgow in July this year.

A role model for girls in South Africa, Mdodana is one of the senior players in the Proteas’ team and has served as both captain and vice-captain.

‘It takes hard work to achieve anything worthwhile’

“It takes hard work to achieve anything worthwhile and you really need to persevere. It’s very important to get an education and I’d like to encourage every young person to make sure that they give their best in the classroom. This philosophy is something I will pursue as an ambassador for Laureus,” she said.

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Trust South Africa supports 15 sports-based community programmes nationally. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised more than R80-million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than 78 000 young people.

Netball South Africa President Mimi Mthethwa welcomed the accolade for Mdodana, saying she deserved it for her commitment and service to the national team over several years.

“Zanele is a wonderful role model and leader and will certainly appeal to sports people across boundaries,” Mthethwa said. “We are delighted that she has been chosen to be an ambassador for such a prestigious organisation and we know that she will fly the Netball SA flag high in carrying out her duties.

“Netball reaches every level of society and this award is an important recognition for all women in the sport that enriches so many lives every day.”

SAinfo reporter