By Ellina Mhlanga
Two months after she led the Zimbabwe senior netball team to their maiden Netball World Cup, former captain Perpetua Siyachitema says life could not be better.
She is now focusing on her coaching career full time.
The 36-year-old called time on her playing career soon after the World Cup.
Siyachitema was the assistant coach for the Under-21 side that competed at the World Youth Cup in 2017 in Botswana.
She is now in charge of Glow Petroleum, a club that plies its trade under the Rainbow Amateur Netball League.
She had been a player-coach since 2014.
“I have been focusing on my coaching career and studying beauty therapy,’’ she said.
“Playing at the highest level of netball, the World Cup, was always been my dream and after participating in the 2019 World Cup, I felt I had seen it all and gained the experience I wanted.
“So, I thought of focusing on my coaching career and share my experience and knowledge.’’
After captaining the Gems for close to a decade, Siyachitema says she is enjoying her new role.
“I am really enjoying it because I can now fully focus on one thing. Being a player and a coach is difficult,’’ she said.
“You can’t correct a player when you are also making some mistakes and you can’t see every mistake.’’
She says she picked lessons in Liverpool at the World Cup.
“I want to bring the fast type of netball, fast transition because that’s where we suffered mostly at the recent World Cup,’’ she said.
“I want to teach people it is necessary to have physically fit athletes, it’s not (achieved) just by running but understanding that going to the gym is a necessity.’’
For someone who was used to being on the court, as a player, she admits it has not been easy to try and inculcate what she knows into her charges.
“I have to be patient and try to teach my players how it’s done and in most cases it takes time to implement what you would have taught them,” said Siyachitema.
Siyachitema attributes her success in netball to her husband, Dalubuhle Nyoni, who has been very supportive.
“There were times when I felt like giving up but he kept pushing me. The journey hasn’t been a smooth one, trust me, training under harsh conditions, without enough time in camp.
“We would travel to as far as Tanzania by road, we would go to RoadPort and board a bus full of other passengers for three to four days just to go for a tournament with very little allowance.
“But, I kept going and pushing, just telling myself that one day things will be cool.’’
Away from netball the mother of one enjoys watching social soccer and basketball.
“I enjoy basketball and used to play and I am looking for a team to join just to keep fit and I enjoy watching social soccer every Sunday,” said Siyachitema.
Although her side is still to find the touch that saw them finishing second at the end of the 2018 RANL season, she remains hopeful of better fortunes in the future. The Herald