Table tennis exploits puts school on map
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KNOWN as one of the best table tennis playing schools in King Sabata Dalindyebo, Kasa Junior Secondary School in Elliotdale did not disappoint at a national tournament in Klerksdorp, North West, earlier this month.
Kasa pupils raised the school – and the Eastern Cape’s – flag high as they won at least five medals at the national table tennis tournament.
Sinelize Skhobondini proved too good for her age group as she won gold medals in the U13 girls single and double categories.
In the doubles, she teamed up with Nathaya McCure of Komani.
Zizipho Ntlali had walked away with a silver medal after losing in the U15s final.
Boys also represented the school well, with Sibulele Thelayo rewarded with a gold medal in the U18 singles category, while Zanelisile Mnalambo won silver in the U15 boys’s singles.
The sports-orientated school, which is the only one that offers chess in the area, are the O R Tambo district champions and have also competed at provincial level.
Soccer and girls rugby is also offered at the school. The rugby team came second at the provincial games played in King William’s Town last month.
Coach Xolile Funani said the pupils who seemed to excel at sports were those from poor families.
“Some of the girls in the rugby team play for the Mthatha Border team and that has built and given them so much confidence.”
Funani said although they were performing well, sport equipment and sport facilities were still among their biggest challenges.
“Table tennis is an expensive sport, especially for our pupils who come from poor households. I can only imagine how much more better they would be if they had proper equipment,” Funani said.
He said that almost every year pupils selected for academies were eventually adopted by them.
Funani said two former pupils who were now studying at Tshwane University had recently represented the country in Tunisia in table tennis. The two brothers Lunga and Musa Vakele were selected to train during holidays at the high performance academy in Pretoria but because of their good performance, they received scholarships. The duo now play table tennis for the varsity and the Gauteng province.