An­other pop­u­lar sport­ing event can­celled

District Mail - - SPORT SPORT - For more in­for­ma­tion on the Fed­health MTB Chal­lenge. email en­tries@still­wa­ter­ or visit www.still­wa­ter­

Or­gan­is­ers of the Fed­health MTB Chal­lenge this week an­nounced the can­cel­la­tion of the pop­u­lar en­durance race.

It was sched­uled to take place on Satur­day 12 and Sun­day 13 Sep­tem­ber.

“Given the cur­rent state of the Covid19 pan­demic in South Africa, a de­ci­sion has been made to can­cel the sixth edi­tion of the Fed­health MTB Chal­lenge, which was sched­uled to take place at the Boschen­dal Farm Es­tate in

Fran­schhoek in Sep­tem­ber,” or­gan­is­ers Still­wa­ter Sport said in a state­ment. “En­tries to the event will there­fore not open this year. We would like to thank all moun­tain bik­ers, our spon­sors and sup­pli­ers for their un­wa­ver­ing sup­port.

“We look for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing the event’s sixth an­niver­sary in 2021.”

Nande Moses, a ma­tric learner at Gor­don High School, reaped the fruits of his hard work when he of­fi­cially be­came a mem­ber of the Western Prov­ince rugby acad­emy for 2021.

Moses (18) has never won pro­vin­cial colours. He fell out in the first round of the WP Grant Khomo un­der-16 tri­als in 2018 and in the third round of Craven Week tri­als last year, but that did not de­ter him from achiev­ing his dream.

“I am a huge sup­porter of Western Prov­ince,” he re­lates. “All my life I have dreamt of wear­ing the blue and white hooped jersey and I’m ec­static that I have my foot in the door.”

Due to the global pan­demic all school sport was brought to a halt, which meant Moses and thou­sands of rugby play­ers across the coun­try, had to for­feit the chance of par­tic­i­pat­ing in tri­als.

In a quest to en­sure that his dreams to rep­re­sent WP, ma­te­ri­alises Moses took a leap of fait and ap­plied to the acad­emy last month. “I was sur­prised to re­ceive feed­back so fast.”

Hard work and de­ter­mi­na­tion have been in­te­gral themes in the as­pir­ing rugby player’s life, as he knew that op­por­tu­ni­ties of this na­ture sel­dom came around for play­ers who do not at­tend tra­di­tional rugby schools.

None­the­less, Mose drawa in­spi­ra­tion from and was deeply moved by the sto­ries of Spring­bok cap­tain Siya Kolisi and try ma­chine Mapimpi, who both con­sis­tently worked hard un­til some­one recog­nised their tal­ent. “Like Mapimpi, I am an or­di­nary guy from the town­ship who loves rugby and does not at­tend a pres­ti­gious school,” he says.

“But it is the pas­sion I have for the sport that will con­tinue open­ing doors for me. These two ac­claimed sports­men con­tinue to be a bea­con of hope to those who come from the town­ships and I too, want to do the same for boys in my com­mu­nity.”

His pas­sion for the sport dates back to his pri­mary school days at Tem­per­ance Town Pri­mary in Gor­don’s Bay, where he was first in­tro­duced to the sport. Moses be­lieves his in­vi­ta­tion to play the sport was ini­tially in­flu­enced by his build, but lit­tle did he know that he would fall in love with the game of rugby.

“I was in Grade 7 when I re­alised that I ac­tu­ally en­joy the sport and started tak­ing it a bit more se­ri­ously,” he shares.

The tal­ented hooker is in par­tic­u­larly in­trigued by Spring­bok hooker Bongi Mbonambi’s style of play. “I re­ally en­joy the skills he brings to the field, es­pe­cially as he plays for WP.”

Moses’ rugby ca­reer is punc­tu­ated by challenges that he has had to over­come. He cites the fact that he hails from a smaller school with less re­sources as his big­gest hur­dle. “Ev­ery time I par­tic­i­pate in tri­als, I see that many of the other boys come from schools that have a rich rugby cul­ture; they have ded­i­cated coaches who help them per­fect their craft,” he ex­plains.

“But the one thing I told my­self is that I will not let that get me down, even if it means that I have to work twice as hard to achieve my goals.”

Quizzed on his fu­ture plans, Moses replies: “I don’t want to blow my own horn, but I know I am a hard worker and that it sur­passes ev­ery­thing. I have al­ready made it to the acad­emy, now I am work­ing to­wards a pro­mo­tion to the se­nior WP team.”

The Asanda Vil­lage lo­cal also as­pires to one day wear the green and gold.

A proud Nande Moses signs his con­tract to be part of the WP Rugby Acad­emy for 2021.

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