Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
3 minute read
12 Apr 2020
8:36 am

Women in Sport: The girl from Vereeniging who became a global netball icon

Wesley Botton

Irene van Dyk put South Africa on the map, before she arguably truly did her talent justice by switching allegiance to New Zealand.

Irene Van Dyk, New Zealand, is welcomed onto the court for her 200th test match during the New Zealand V England, New World International Netball Series, at the ILT Velodrome, Invercargill, New Zealand. 6th October 2011. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Better known for spearheading the New Zealand attack for 14 years, netball icon Irene van Dyk was first recognised as an international star in her country of birth, and before she spread her wings overseas, she played an important role in lifting the profile of the game in South Africa. Born in Vereeniging, it was in SA where Van Dyk developed her skills, and while the country’s isolation prevented her from showcasing her talent in the early stages of her senior career, she blossomed on the global stage after readmission. Having made her Proteas debut in 1994, Van Dyk led...