Sharks ap­point 24-year-old GM

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

DUR­BAN - The KwaZulu-Na­tal Rugby Union and the Sharks have an­nounced the ap­point­ment of 24-year-old Siseko Jafta as gen­eral man­ager of the KZNRU, ef­fec­tive from Jan­uary 1, 2017.

There have been some struc­tural changes within the KZNRU as both the am­a­teur and pro­fes­sional bod­ies at the union have committed to closely align­ing them­selves to fur­ther strengthen and grow the game in KZN.

Jafta takes over the reins from cur­rent KZNRU CEO, Pete Smith, 62, who after close-on 25 years of ser­vice, is re­tir­ing at the end De­cem­ber 2016.

Jafta is a St Charles old boy who was scouted and signed by the Sharks back in 2009 after rep­re­sent­ing South Africa at Un­der-18 level.

As an ath­letic loose-for­ward with great po­ten­tial, he went on to rep­re­sent the Sharks ju­nior teams un­til a se­ri­ous neck in­jury pre­ma­turely ended his promis­ing rugby ca­reer in 2011.

Cir­cum­stances like the one Siseko en­coun­tered in 2011 can shat­ter dreams and leave a per­son de­mo­ti­vated, but not him.

With a strong de­sire to suc­ceed, he went on to study to­wards a BCom De­gree and upon com­ple­tion was em­ployed by The Sharks in an ad­min role that saw him man­age the ju­nior teams as well as pro­vide a men­tor­ship role to young play­ers en­ter­ing the sys­tem.

In 2016, he took over the ad­min­is­tra­tion re­lat­ing to clubs in the prov­ince.

“This ap­point­ment marks the dawn of a new and ex­cit­ing era in KZN Rugby,” Francois Louis, the pres­i­dent of the KwaZulu-Na­tal Rugby Union said.

“In a short space of time Jafta has gained a good rep­u­ta­tion amongst stake­hold­ers and will bring strong lead­er­ship, a new and ex­cit­ing ap­proach, and ideas to add growth and value to the port­fo­lio.”

Sharks CEO, Gary Te­ich­mann, added: “Jafta is a very like­able per­son with an ex­cep­tional abil­ity to think an­a­lyt­i­cally and work un­der pres­sure. We are look­ing for­ward to the fresh ideas he will bring to the ta­ble and we will be there ev­ery step of the way to pro­vide the nec­es­sary sup­port and guid­ance he re­quires. On be­half of us all, I wish him the very best in his new role.”

Louis also ac­knowl­edged the mas­sive role played by re­tir­ing CEO Pete Smith.

“On be­half of The Sharks and the KZNRU, I would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank Pete for his in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tion and tire­less ef­forts in ad­min­is­ter­ing the am­a­teur game as well as his pas­sion and ef­forts in en­sur­ing that club rugby in KZN con­tin­ues to grow,” he said. “At the end of his ten­ure, he leaves the KZNRU in good stead and we salute him for the many years of ded­i­ca­tion, com­mit­ment and ser­vice he has given to rugby in this prov­ince.”—Sport24.

Siseko Jafta

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