SEVERN Stars shooter and South African international Maryka Holtzhausen has announced her retirement from professional netball.
Holtzhausen has played for the club for the last two seasons and captained the Stars side last season. She brings to a close a stellar international career, with more than 100 caps for South Africa, including her last match against England for the bronze medal in the recent Netball World Cup.
The 32-year-old, originally of Bloemfontein, Free State, competed for South Africa in the Commonwealth Games in 2010, 2014 and 2018 and Netball World Cup in 2011, 2015 and this year and captained her national side from 2013 to 2016.
“I have quite mixed feelings to be honest,” she said.
“Although I have a real peace in my heart about my decision, it doesn’t make it easy to say goodbye to such a big part of my life. I think every athlete gets to a point in their career where it feels right to let go and move on.”
Holtzhausen said she had decided to hang up her dress by the end of the Superleague season.
“I knew in the last Netball World Cup and in my last Stars match that it was the final time,” she added.
“I remember so clearly pulling those dresses over my head for the final time. I think it was just a whole rush of emotions, but all those emotions means it really was a very special time in my life.”
“Being part of Stars has been a great highlight in my career,” she said.
“Being part of a new franchise and building a culture has been special. I will miss the netball, the enthusiastic supporters, a team environment and the friends I made, on and off court.
Stars co-director Anita Navin, said: “Maryka is a first class ambassador and leader both on and off the court, who has contributed immensely to the development of our performance culture at Severn Stars and I am grateful our paths crossed in high performance netball.
“She has superb leadership skills which I am sure will be utilised well in her career ambitions that lie ahead.”