Name: Jaumbuaije Zauana
Date of Birth: 04/08/1993
Place of Birth: Windhoek
Marital Status: Single
Current Club: UWC Netball Club
Previous Club/s: Black Africa Netball Club, Western Cape Southern Stings and Western Province Netball Club.
Position: Goal Shooter (GS)
Career achievements: Representing Namibia on the international stage, scooping a netball bursary and being named University of Western Cape Sportswoman of the Year in 2015.
Favourite local or international player: New Zealand’s Ameliaranne Ekenasio.
Your most memorable match: The M1 Nations Cup final against the host country Singapore last year.
Your toughest match: I was still playing for the Southern Stings, it was the final match against the Gauteng Jaguars. We lost by two goals in the last five minutes of the game.
Biggest career disappointment: Not being able to play for the Western Cape Southern Stings since 2019 because of nationality issues, as I am Namibian.
Biggest influence on your career: Western Province coach Sue Schooling.
If not netball, which other sport career would you have chosen? It would have been high jump or long jump.
Which Namibian player do you most enjoy playing with? Anna Kasper.
How difficult has your journey been getting to where you are today? I don’t want to say it’s been difficult but I’d rather say I had to prepare myself mentally for many challenges. Considering that I have been a student athlete for almost five years, I constantly had to push myself to perform at my best and still perform on the academic front. It took me sleepless nights, constantly had to motivate myself and persevere. In the end, it was doable because it’s something that I really wanted to achieve.
You are currently regarded as one of the key players for the Desert Jewels, what has kept you at the top? I believe so. Firstly, netball is a team sport and we are always working together as a unit that we are. The team itself works relentlessly hard and being part of such an amazing team will always keep you on your toes. The girls are supportive and just that spirit in the team keeps us all doing our best.
Playing for the University of Western Cape, one of the top university teams in South Africa, how have you grown as a player and as a person? I have definitely grown a lot. I look back where I was five years ago and I must say my intensity of training and performance has definitely picked up. I have played under various great coaches during my time in South Africa and I have acquired a lot of skills I didn’t possess while playing in Namibia. I have also played on a very competitive level in what is now known as the Telkom Super League and that experience has helped me a lot as a player. I’ve become stronger and more competitive. The beauty of a contact sport like netball is that you learn with every tough game you play.
How has netball changed your life? It has changed my life in many ways. I have met many great people that played different roles in my life. I have networked on many levels with different athletes. Netball has boosted my confidence in many ways. I learned the importance of teamwork. It made me independent and just so much more.
Are you happy with the state of Namibian netball? I’m happy with the trajectory that we are currently on. The recent news of MTC coming on board to sponsor the local premier league will definitely take Namibian netball to the next level. We also have a great coaching team at national level that will help us reach greater heights. I would say it is up to the players now to give 110%.
From a development perspective, what does Namibia need to do for netball to catch up with the rest of the world? I believe we have to launch a sort of a semi-professional league across the country and have all regions involved. A league that can add a new dimension to women sports in Namibia. That can be a great start and maybe also have more frequent talent identification training camps for players across all age groups and try and develop those players.
Your ambitions for 2020 and beyond: Continue playing for Namibia and if I get an opportunity to go play abroad, I won’t hesitate. I’m currently doing my Honours, with plans of doing my Masters next year and then I’ll look at getting into the industry.