Nobody would have suspected that one of the Netball World Cup’s leading goal scorers would have also been the leading goal scorer in the A Grade Roxby Downs Netball Association (RDNA) competition.
Joice Takaidza, who has been a RDNA member for nine years previously playing for the Roxby Miners Netball Club and this year playing for the Olympic Dam Netball Club, was selected to represent Zimbabwe in the 2019 Netball World Cup.
RDNA Secretary Karen Baker said that the Association was surprised to find out that Joice would be travelling to Liverpool to compete in the pinnacle event for elite netball across the world.
“We were surprised to hear that she had been selected because it’s not what you expect for someone playing in an outback country town, we are very proud of her and excited for her,” Karen said.
The community rallied behind their new Netball World Cup player by helping raise funds for her upcoming trip. The Association gave Joice a donation to assist with travel costs, Joice setup a GoFundMe page which raised over $3,400 and the Olympic Dam Netball Club held a Ladies Fashion Night fundraiser.
During the Cup the support from Joice’s community continued. The Association Facebook page regularly updated their online following about Joice’s achievements throughout the tournament which attracted a lot of positive comments of support. While fellow netballers in the Association congregated at the Olympic Dam Netball Club for the live screening of the Zimbabwe v Australia game where everyone’s eyes were glued to watching the game and cheering her on.
“With four clubs in our association, it has been really pleasing to see rivalry put to the side and every club supporting and encouraging Joice,” said RDNA Secretary Karen Baker.
“We all think she is amazing and we get to see that every week on the court, it’s surreal to see her playing in the World Cup, but now the world has seen what we enjoy every week.”
Zimbabwe ended up finishing 8th on the ladder at the Netball World Cup with Joice playing a key role in helping secure that position. The local community is looking forward to welcoming her back RDNA Secretary Karen Baker said that this will be an experience Joice will always remember.
“Joice has really enjoyed the experience, she said it is good to be there after playing 23 years of netball to now be at this level and excel is so amazing.”