‘Blessed’ Proscovia’s incredible journey to grand final
LIGHTNING goalshooter Peace Proscovia feels "blessed" just to be a part of the Sunshine Coast squad let alone to be playing in the 2019 Super Netball grand final.
Born into poverty in her native Uganda, an African nation where she was sometimes denied education and sent to the fields to work, Proscovia survived a near-death experience when she was poisoned 11 years ago after leaving the small family village to play club netball against her father's wishes.
She went on to star in the English competition and for the Ugandan national team where she caught the eye of the Lightning at last year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
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Proscovia, 29, has shared the starting goalshooter duties with young gun Cara Koenen in the Lightning's march to their third-straight Super Netball decider where they are gunning for a hat-trick of titles.
The Sunshine Coast will take on the NSW Swifts in Sunday's showpiece at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre after the Sydney side claimed a hard-earnt 60-47 victory over the Melbourne Vixens in the preliminary final.
The last time Proscovia set foot inside the Boondall venue, she hit 53 goals from 55 attempts in a 71-56 win over the Queensland Firebirds to remind the competition of her potent productivity.
She admits walking into the Lightning environment was initially intimidating given they were coming off back-to-back championships and is happy to play whatever role is required to capture a third crown.
"I never imagined myself playing in this competition so I never imagined myself playing in a grand final,'' Proscovia said.
"I'm excited about the game but I'm also excited for my teammates after we have all worked so hard together to reach this point.
"But we just have to treat it like any other day and any other game. I came into the team with a mixture of excitement and knowing it would be a challenge for me to step up because of what this team had achieved.
"Every team wants to beat us because of our record so every game is a challenge but I have been so proud of the way we have worked together.''
Proscovia said the competition for the starting goalshooter spot with Koenen had lifted both players to new heights as the minor premiers take a nine-game winning streak into the decider.
"Cara is an amazing player but she is different to me so we present different styles when we are out there on court which can really help the team depending on who we are playing,'' Proscovia said.
"She has deserved her opportunities so I only want the best for her.
"I've been blessed to have her as a teammate and a fellow goalshooter.
"But I've deserved my opportunities too and I am looking forward to doing my best for the team in the grand final.''
SUNCORP SUPER NETBALL - 2019 GRAND FINAL:
Sunshine Coast Lightning v NSW Swifts
Sunday, September 15 - 1pm
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Boondall
TV: Ch 9, Netball Live app
Major semi-final: Lightning 58 d Swifts 48 (USC Stadium)
Rd 11: Lightning 50 d Swifts 48 (USC Stadium)
Rd 4: Lightning 59 d Swifts 57 (Quaycentre, Sydney)