A friend in­deed

Leana de Bruin, a for­mer Sil­ver Fern who will play for Ade­laide next year, is a com­men­ta­tor for this month’s Con­stel­la­tion Cup. She ar­rived in NZ from South Africa to play for the Ferns in 2001, aged 23. Here, she’s pic­tured with Ber­nice Mene, on a Ste­war

The Dominion Post - Your Weekend (Dominion Post) - - A Day In The Life -

“I must con­fess I had to put a brave face on, be­ing the new kid on the block from South Africa. My English wasn’t the great­est and I was shy.

In 1999, the World Champs was played in Christchurch and I played for South Africa then. They chose a world sevens team to play against New Zealand in 2000. Our man­ager for that team was one of the ladies in In­ver­cargill. She asked if I’d like to come and play for a sea­son. I was like, “Oh why not?”

I had no idea what In­ver­cargill was like. My brother’s a pi­lot in South Africa and his co-worker was from New Zealand. When I told him I was go­ing to In­ver­cargill, he looked at me like, “What have you done!”

Net­ball in South Africa wasn’t very good and I thought it was a great op­por­tu­nity to come and learn from the Ki­wis. I was ner­vous, I’m not go­ing to lie about that. Be­ing put into a team with leg­ends like Ber­nice and Les­ley Ni­chol, and Donna Loffha­gen, and Adine Wil­son - those are big names I’d looked up to and then, I was in their team... but they were awe­some - Ki­wis are just so amaz­ing for mak­ing you feel wel­come.

I find Ki­wis talk re­ally fast. So I had to lis­ten re­ally care­fully. But it wasn’t so bad be­cause at the end of the day all I needed to un­der­stand in English on the net­ball court is net­ball terms, which wasn’t a prob­lem. It was more in the day-to-day con­ver­sa­tions, the con­fi­dence thing was a bar­rier.

We only played one sea­son to­gether but what I do re­ally re­mem­ber about Ber­nice is her laugh - she’s got a re­ally con­ta­gious laugh. She was real down-to-earth; she was an idol for lots of peo­ple and an amaz­ing player but she didn’t let that go to her head; she was hum­ble and easy to talk to. She was the one who re­ally ex­plained stuff to me. She didn’t get frus­trated, she was will­ing to help.

The chal­leng­ing thing for me last year when I did com­men­tat­ing for the first time was, I’d just got out of the team, and I had to talk about my team­mates. It does make it chal­leng­ing to com­men­tate when things aren’t go­ing right. But at the end of the day, I’ve got a dif­fer­ent hat on now and that’s kind of how I see it. I told them: “Just play well, then I don’t have to say bad things about you.” Easy. Britt Mann

The Con­stel­la­tion Cup screens on SKY Sport 3 on Oc­to­ber 8 at 2pm, and on SKY Sport 2 on Oc­to­ber 11 at 9.30pm, and on Oc­to­ber 14 at 5pm.

2Deep sleep pil­low spray, this­works, RRP $33 for 75ml Made with es­sen­tial oils laven­der, ve­tivert and wild chamomile, a few spritzes on your pil­low be­fore lights out will pro­mote a calm night’s sleep.

3Sleep pulse point, The Aro­mather­apy Co., RRP $16,15ml Laven­der and chamomile mix in a grape­seed oil base. Calm your­self with a cir­cle ap­plied to the tem­ples, with your eyes closed as you lay down to rest.

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