February 22, 2023 | in NUSF News
For most 19-year-olds, life includes quite a bit of socializing, sleeping in late, and perhaps some recreation on the side to keep the blood flowing from time to time. But not so with South African volleyball sensation Maritske Rautenbach, whose recent eye-catching performances have caught the eye as she continues to pursue her dream: donning the prized green and gold uniform of the senior national team.
He already has a taste of this outfit, albeit at the junior level. Maritske stood out at the recent Region V Youth Games in Malawi, a multi-sport competition featuring top youth talent from ten South African countries where she helped South Africa defend its volleyball title.
“This was my second year of being selected for the team, which made it that much more special for me!” talks about the last international tournament. “Of course, you can never be sure and guaranteed a place because there are so many talented volleyball players that could be chosen. I was very grateful and humbled that I deserved the opportunity to represent my country.”
Photos courtesy of Maritske RautenbachA former member of the 2021 Youth Games team and the youngest member of the gold medal-winning University of Johannesburg team from last year’s annual Varsity Netball competition, Maritske’s talent has become evident on bigger and grander stages. All the milestones leading up to her final reward.
“I think my goal is the same as any other netball player, to play for the Proteas national team. Along the way, I would just like to play volleyball, give my best and enjoy every moment. I also hope to one day earn a degree in health sciences so I can help people and athletes like me.”
The inspiration for this place in the national team is no doubt enhanced by the fact that South Africa will host the Netball World Cup this year. This is a tournament that Marickie is absolutely looking forward to, even if he experienced – at least this time – as a die-hard spectator.
“I am very excited!” talks about the international show of July. “It will be very good for us, showing other countries what potential South Africa has and that we are also one of the teams to be feared. I think we will bring something that no one expects, and the tournament will definitely unite us as South Africans in continuing to support our amazing team.
Those roles may soon be reversed with South African fans rooting for Maritske instead, but for now the teenage talent is equally excited to support her compatriots and continue working hard on her way to becoming a teammate in the future.