CityPress - - Sport - SIL­VER SIBIYA sil­ver.sibiya@city­

Sport can play an im­por­tant role in the phys­i­cal and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment of young­sters. Panashe Sit­hole and Sasha Dikotla share the im­por­tance of in­tro­duc­ing young girls to sport.

Squash has al­lowed the 17-year-old Sit­hole to travel over­seas when she was part of the South African ju­nior ladies team that com­peted in Poland in 2016.

“Sport has taught me that in life you win some and you lose some and that I can turn ev­ery sit­u­a­tion into a les­son.

“Through sport I’ve seen my­self and my friends learn to cope in a com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, abide by rules, work as a team and re­spect oth­ers.”

Panashe is ranked num­ber 54 in the world ju­nior ladies rank­ings.

“I was not dis­ap­pointed with my per­for­mance in Poland, but I lost matches that I could have won.”

The St Mary’s Foun­da­tion star joined the school through a schol­ar­ship.

“I came to St Mary’s School in June last year. I want to do bet­ter and achieve more and go to the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games in Aus­tralia.”

St Mary’s Foun­da­tion found­ing mem­ber Gil­lian O’Shaugh­nessy said both young women were cham­pi­ons in the mak­ing.

“These schol­ar­ships have af­forded the girls the op­por­tu­nity to not only re­ceive a world-class ed­u­ca­tion but also top-class sport train­ing, al­low­ing them to de­velop in all as­pects of life be­yond the im­pact on phys­i­cal well-be­ing,” O’Shaugh­nessy said.

Dikotla started play­ing hockey when she was in Grade 5. She said she en­joys the sport be­cause it shows her the im­por­tance of achiev­ing goals through team­work.

“Ev­ery­one has a chance to con­trib­ute some­thing pos­i­tive to the team for it to achieve its goals.”

The 15-year-old Grade 9 pupil plans to go to the Nether­lands in the near fu­ture to study sports medicine and con­tinue fo­cus­ing on hockey.

Dikotla knows sport has given her the con­fi­dence to achieve any­thing she sets her mind to.

“I ap­ply the same prin­ci­ples I’ve learnt in hockey – hard work and ded­i­ca­tion – to other as­pects of my life.”

AS­PIR­ING GREAT­NESS Sasha Dikotla ap­plies the same prin­ci­ples learnt in hockey to other as­pects of her life

CRUSH­ING IT Squash player Panashe Sit­hole is 54th on the world ju­nior ladies rank­ings

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