Training at Bath is a dream come true
South African national netball defender Karla Mostert tells us her story about being part of Team Bath.
I would definitely recommend the University of Bath. If you have the opportunity to come from abroad and study here, I would definitely advise it – especially as a sportsperson.
In 2012, we came on a tour and played a test series against England. One of the matches was held here at the University of Bath. I remember how people were just in awe of how great the courts and training facilities were. So it was amazing when Team Bath Netball invited me to come over. I was so thankful for the opportunity and couldn't let it pass by.
Excellent support and opportunities for athletes
The Sports Training Village is the next level up from anything we have in South Africa. If I tell the people back home to imagine how it is here, I tell them to think of the High Performance Centre in Pretoria and multiply that by five. It is so much better and bigger – the gym, the quality of the courts, the indoor sprint track, the Sports Café - you just have everything available.
I can now understand why Team Bath athletes do so well because they have the best facilities and staff to promote them. I feel so privileged to be part of this and experience this high-quality, high-performance type of structure.
What I like about here is the balance. Bath has the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) team for the students, the Netball Performance League team for the developing players, and the Superleague team. You can play in all three teams or just one but everyone gets game time. It’s great for the students and athletes to participate together.
Giving back to the community in South Africa
I’ve enjoyed making appearances with the sports development department, giving something back to the community by visiting schools and clubs. It’s great to see an investment in children and schools to get them involved. It’s so beneficial for the University and the kids. We could learn a lot from that and, hopefully, do something similar in South Africa.
I've been able to learn from the different structures used by Team Bath and the University to encourage development. There is such a big opportunity for something similar in South Africa and there's a big need for it. It is my responsibility to take what I've learned with me and to do my best to contribute to development.
Being in Bath also made me realised that we are moving forward, especially in netball. It is going to take time, but I have no doubt that we are going the right way. This is a big positive for the sport in South Africa.