Sunshine Coast Lighting's Phumza Maweni. Photo: Patrick Woods
Sunshine Coast Lighting's Phumza Maweni. Photo: Patrick Woods

‘Best moment ever’: Lightning star grateful to be back

Lightning defender Phumza Maweni has praised her club for their support during multiple quarantines and says it was the “best moment ever” upon returning to the court.

The 35-year-old was granted government permission to return to Australia last month after spending the COVID-19 shutdown with her son and family at home in South Africa.

She left the country on March 26 and after spending two weeks in quarantine, returned back to the court at Sippy Downs from June 22.

“It was the best moment ever (to return to training) and I think I jumped three times (in excitement) just to see the girls,” Maweni said.

“Being away and coming back, it was amazing to see them and the atmosphere and being around positive vibes.

“It was really heartening to get back on court and do what I’m supposed to do.”

The 186cm goalkeeper was also forced to quarantine in South Africa, with the country enforcing strict lockdown restrictions, and spent most of her time at home helping her son with studies.

Speaking to media for the first time since returning, Maweni said the Sunshine Coast club had provided vital support mentally and physically during her time away and on return to the country.

“It was bit hard back home but because of our Lightning family I will say they did a great job to support me and I didn’t feel that isolated,” she said.

She said the club sent her a program to keep in shape and had to use household items like bottles of water as fitness equipment.

“They always encouraged me to be strong and the girls kept calling me and checked on how I felt and how things (were going) and that made me stand tall and keep fit as well,” she said.