Talk of the Town
Hard work helps NCAL put Ndlambe on the map
Nemato Change A Life (NCAL) is on a roll this month: on the sporting side, their rowing team brought home gold from the Knysna Mid-Way Regatta earlier this month and this week two members were selected for a four-year internship with the Zip Zap Circus in Cape Town.
The Knysna regatta saw top rowing schools from the Western Cape and Eastern Cape battle it out on the water.
Commenting on the win, elated coach Sheldon Nelson said: “We won our doubles race (when there are two people in the boat) and we also won our heads race (our quad where four people row and one is the driver of the boat).
“I can proudly say we got our first gold medals of the season — seven of them!”
Nelson said this was the second competition of the opening of the rowing season and their first big one competing outside the Eastern Cape.
“We got to race against the best schools in South Africa,” Nelson said.
“I have been the rowing coach for Nemato for five years now,” Nelson said. “When you’re a coach you don’t just coach, you become a parent or a guardian. All the hard work, the raining weather, the wind, the sun that burns you during training are all worth it when you see those green T-shirts come around the corner and they are in first place — you get goosebumps!
“It becomes emotional knowing that no matter who you are, if you really want to achieve something and you put your mind to it, anything becomes possible. I hope people will encourage their children to join our sport codes and help us get children off the streets and into our programme,” he said.
“We have a long season ahead and we could not have started it any better than this. I am proud of the boys: they deserve it!”
Meanwhile, news that NCAL members Liyema Nxobo, 21, and Khanyile Mbolekwa, 18, have been given the nod by the dynamic Cape Town-based Zip Zap Circus is still fresh.
“We auditioned them on the 15th and this week we confirmed that they were successful,” said programmes manager Vanessa CurnowFortune.
The two will enter the fouryear Dare2Dream vocational programme at the circus’s Salt River, Cape Town base. There is an on-site residence where they will probably stay.
The four-year programme comprises a preparation year, two vocational years and a “proinsertion” year.
The final year, CurnowFortune explains, is intended to bridge the gap between their studies at the school and the world of work.