Q&A with SPAR Proteas’ Elmere van der Berg

We caught up with SPAR Proteas player Elmeré van der Berg and asked the South African a few questions ahead of the Netball World Cup. Here’s what she had to say.

How do you stay focused when the World Cup is so close?
Being selected to the NWC team has been a lifelong dream for me. It is a huge privilege and only through the mercy of the Lord. I stay focused, because I need to be my best, not only for myself, but for my team and country. We have a goal, and everyone must be on form to accomplish that goal.

What is special about a World Cup at home? 
The NWC has never been on the African continent and now it is in South Africa.  My home country. I will be able to play in front of my family and friends – what a great opportunity.

What are the strengths of this Proteas team? 
We have a goal and are committed to be our best. Our coaches believe in us and bring out the best in every player.

What are the keys to World Cup success? 
Faith, commitment, unity, endurance and giving it your all.

Your proudest achievements? 
The most recent victory, the semi-final in the Varsity Cup against Kovsies, is one of my favourites. That was such a close game. I am also very grateful to have been named Player of the Tournament. Another favourite victory was winning the African Cup in 2021.

Tell us about your position? 
Although playing GS/GA is a lot of pressure, I love being the one who can make the difference by adding to the score board. You need to have shooting skills and not allow yourself to be intimidated by the defenders.

How have you progressed as a player over the past 12 months? 
My movement on the court and my shooting skills.

Tell us about PUMA’s SPAR Proteas playing kit? 
It is beautiful, colourful and expresses the diversity of our Rainbow Nation.

Who inspired you to play netball? 
My father who was a professional rugby player and my mom who played netball were both always there to motivate and encourage me. I started playing netball in Grade 1 and in high school several opportunities crossed my path which motivated me to work harder and better myself.

Where do you see yourself when your playing days are over? 
As a coach who inspires and uplifts young girls to bring out the best in them and help them achieve their dreams.

Your advice to girls who feel barriers are blocking their dreams? 
Always stay positive. Never give up on your dreams. If a door closes, there will always be a better one that opens.

Photo: Supplied