Kolisi in­spires young­sters in city rugby pro­gramme

Pretoria News Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES MAHLOKWANE

james.mahlokwane@inl.co.za THE story of Spring­bok rugby cap­tain Siya Kolisi is in­spi­ra­tional: he grew up in the town­ship of Zwide in Port El­iz­a­beth, but it was rugby which saw him en­rol at the pres­ti­gious Grey Col­lege in the city and go on to play pro­vin­cial and then na­tional rugby.

Yes­ter­day, a group of boys from town­ships around Pre­to­ria prac­tised rugby moves, probably dream­ing of the suc­cess of a Kolisi or Lwazi Mvovo.

The boys are part of the Moshate Rugby Cup pro­gramme founded by St Al­ban’s Col­lege rugby di­rec­tor Kennedy Tsimba, him­self a for­mer Blue Bulls and Chee­tahs player.

The idea of Moshate which started in 2016, is to iden­tify and nur­ture ta­lent among chil­dren un­der 13 in and around the city who would not oth­er­wise get such an op­por­tu­nity.

But it is not only about rugby… the pro­gramme of­fers an all-round ser­vice, in­clud­ing en­cour­ag­ing par­tic­i­pants to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of a fo­cus on aca­demic ex­cel­lence.

Tsimba said the pro­gramme could po­ten­tially find the next Blue Bulls player or an­other Kolisi and pro­vide the op­por­tu­ni­ties to un­lock his or her ta­lent.

Chil­dren tak­ing part in the pro­gramme have been drawn from com­mu­ni­ties such as Soshanguve, At­teridgeville, Stanza Bopape, Kgo­motso, Tswaing and Eer­sterust.

Stan­dard Bank has come to the party with a spon­sor­ship to the tune of R100 000.

Stan­dard Bank man­ager for Tsh­wane cen­tral Lumé Kleyn­hans said the bank had no doubts about the value of this in­vest­ment.

Tsimba said big rugby teams scout in the East­ern Cape, for ex­am­ple, but there was less of a cul­ture in grow­ing rugby ta­lent in Tsh­wane town­ships.

Coach Sello Maswan­ganye said: “This is a great op­por­tu­nity for our chil­dren in the town­ships be­cause a lot of the times they play against each other. With this op­por­tu­nity, they get to travel to play against other com­mu­ni­ties,” while coach Leroy Hartze of Eer­sterust said he was proud that chil­dren from his com­mu­nity were af­forded the chance to com­pete and face stronger teams from out­side Eer­sterust.

Kgo­motso Mohlala and Sim­phiwe Skhosana, both 12, from Soshanguve, said they en­joyed the event be­cause they loved rugby.

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