When a career spanning more than two decades came to an end for one of NMMU’s most successful managers, she was more than ready to trade her takkies for rugby boots and face the next challenge.
Theresa le Roux welcomed what she termed a “man’s job” after more than 20 years at the head of the Port Elizabeth university’s netball club.
The FNB Madibaz Rugby Club would now have a woman with drive and determination to spearhead their future endeavours.
“I acknowledged that I could not achieve anything more within netball and felt that a change of focus would offer a new opportunity.”
Not one to shy away from adversity, Le Roux knew the job came with a number of hurdles which would have to be overcome in order for the club to succeed.
“Finances are always a challenge and the uncertainty surrounding Eastern Province rugby makes it difficult to recruit the right student-athletes.
“I think it is important to establish a good and stable coaching and management environment to help take the club forward.
“And, when it comes to development, I would like to see us making our mark in the EP Grand Challenge league as well as growing the women’s team,” she said.
“Until recently, our focus has been on Varsity Cup as university teams don’t qualify to play in the national club champs.”
Under her guidance, the SPAR Madibaz Netball Club notched up notable successes in tertiary and club tournaments all over the country and even abroad.
One of the highlights, she said, was when the “class of 2005” returned unbeaten from their tour to Birmingham in England.
The Madibaz also made the Eastern Province club league their own during her stint in charge, winning it 24 times since the early nineties.
Le Roux has mentored several players who went on to represent the Proteas, most notably Lana Krige, former captain Zanele Mdodana and Zanele Vimbela.
She said her time in netball and managing other sporting codes such as cycling, basketball, volleyball, surfing and squash had taught her that it was important to go out and play for both themselves and their supporters in pursuit of establishing a winning culture.