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Thembi sat in her room, eyes gazed outside the window at the far-away hills. Everything looked different. She didn’t find meaning in life. Since her car accident, she has always isolated herself. It shattered her dreams and doomed her netball career.  

“How long will you torture yourself, my child? What happened was not your fault. Look, It’s not the end of the world. Staying indoors will depress you. How about we take a walk, you will feel better,” Aunt Nkele wiped Thembi’s tears and smiled.

Thembi never uttered a word. She frowned and slipped sandals on her feet. The only pair of shoes she’s comfortable with. Gone are days in which sneakers and jeans used to be her favourite. Thembi dragged herself up and reached for her crutch and limped out of the room. They walked at a slow pace down the road until they reach the sports field.

“Alright, let’s rest for a while,” said Aunt Nkele. They sat on a roadside bench under the tree. Aunt Nkele ended up falling asleep. Few meters away, a group of girls was busy playing netball. They were too loud and their arguments caught Thembi’s attention. One of the players threw the ball out of the court and it rolled towards Thembi’s feet. The girl got terrified and stood still with wide-opened eyes.  Thembi smiled, picked the ball, and went to them.

“Everyone, please come closer. I’ve been watching you for some time now and you don’t follow netball rules at all. If you don’t mind, I can coach you,” said Thembi.

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All screamed with joy and clapped their hands.

“If you are preparing for the upcoming tournament, you are nowhere close to winning. You need to stay focused and listen to what I teach you. My name is Thembi. I’m going to take you through a few basics,” said Thembi with great confidence.

“Yes, coach,”  the team replied with so much dedication. Thembi shared all her knowledge and experience and arranged them in their respective positions. And they played better than before. Aunt Nkele couldn’t believe her eyes as she woke up seeing Thembi beaming with a smile. Thembi’s mood faded. Although she couldn’t take part in tournaments, she had a team. The next morning Thembi left the house early in the morning, while her aunt was still asleep. She got worried as she noticed Thembi’s absence. Without hesitation, she went to the playground, but Thembi wasn’t there.

“Excuse me, has anyone seen Thembi”, asked aunt.

“No ma’am”, the girl replied.

“Looking for me, aunt?” I went to see some businessmen in our area, so they can sponsor my team. Two of them responded positively and will help my team with the netball kits. I can’t wait to break the news to them, Thembi whispered.

 The day of the tournament came, and Thembi’s team played so well and won the tournament. Their victory was all over the news. Thembi earned a lot of respect among society.

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