Local Randpark action netball star makes it into SA U17 team

Kiara Loppens prepares to shoot for her U17 South African action netball team. Photo: Supplied

The action-packed sport of indoor netball has captivated the young talented Kiara Loppens and this resulted in her being chosen for the South African U17 team.

Kiara, in Grade 11 and a first team Rand Park High School netball player, received the great news of her selection last year in March. Her first match was played on 9 July this year against New Zealand and she was chosen to play link for the six-a-side matches which is a mix of centre and wing attack in the regular game. The young super sports star explained that there were two types of indoor netball – 6-a-side and 7-a-side.

Kiara Loppens shows off her South African action netball team jacket.

Seven-a-side is the netball game that most people are familiar with and 6-a-side, Kiara said, was much more action-packed and fast. In 6-a-side, certain players are allowed to shoot for the goals from outside of the circle and players are only allowed to touch the ball once, making for a very speedy game.

“This type of game play is very much a New Zealand speciality, as such, we as a South African team needed to train really hard which involves a ton of running and three-hour practice sessions,” said Kiara.

Sportsmanship runs deep in her blood with her aunt also having been selected for the South African indoor netball team at one point. “My dad really encouraged me to push forward, he has a great love for sports too.”

Kiara has aspirations to attend either the University of Johannesburg or the University of Pretoria where she will hopefully play in the varsity league.

Her next match will be at the Action Netball Super League on 12 August.

“What I love most about playing netball and my selection is that I am constantly inspired by my teammates. It gives you the want to be the best that you can be.”


For breaking and community news, visit Johannesburg North West’s websites:

Randburg Sun 

Northcliff Melville Times

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Ashtyn Mackenzie

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