Going for a dream

2013-10-29 00:00

THERE is only one thing on Jaco Coetzee’s mind and that is to pursue a rugby career. The strapping lad plays No 8 for Glenwood’s first team and by his own admission, “rugby is my life as I have been playing the game since I was six”.

This was his debut year in the first side, having played for the U16 team last year in a year he would rather forget.

“We were playing Outeniqua’s U16 side when I went down in a tackle and could not feel my leg when I tried to get up,” said Coetzee. “I had torn ligaments in my knee and was out of the game for three months and missed most of the season.”

Originally a flank, Coetzee has made the No 8 spot his own in the “Green Machine” set-up, a vital part of the team’s outstanding results on the field. This year was another long season and he can reflect on having played his part with pride.

“Stepping up from U16 to 1st team level is a big change. It’s a different level of rugby and is more physical, much faster and demands a high fitness level.

“My highlight was scoring a hat-trick of tries against our rivals DHS and winning the Hit of the Day award for a tackle I made in the match against Kearsney. Beating Maritzburg College 44-40 on their turf, on their Reunion Day, was massive and my toughest match was against Paarl Boys’ High at the Wildeklawer Festival at College.”

Originally from Pretoria, Coetzee does have some loyalty to the Blue Bulls, but having settled in Sharks country, he plays a free card when it comes to where his loyalties lie.

“At the moment, I just want to play rugby. My options are open as to where I will head after school and I have no preferences as yet,” said Coetzee. “Currently, I wear Glenwood’s green school blazer. My dream is to wear another green blazer, one with a Springbok on the left pocket.”

Coetzee has also been a talented athlete in the past, specialising in the triple jump. That was before he came to Glenwood though.

“Where I grew up, athletics was big and I was quite involved. However, once I arrived at Glenwood and had all the necessary rugby facilities on offer, that’s where I have channelled my main focus and athletics is not so big for me anymore. It helps with my speed for rugby these days.”

Coetzee is part of Glenwood’s elite sports academy programme, in which he is allowed to develop within his sporting code, while fitting in academics.

“All my requirements are accommodated. I train from 8 am to 11 am and 2 pm to 5 pm daily, with three classes in between,” said Coetzee. “It allows me to focus on making a career out of sport and is the perfect start I need to pursue my rugby dream.”

Coetzee Lifestyle

Plays waterpolo for Glenwood’s 2nd team

Watches athletics and tennis

Was in the school choir in Grade 10

Likes hunting on a friend’s farm in the Free State

Doesn’t cook but enjoys a braai

Favourite food is a big rack of ribs and a steak

Reads sports books for inspiration

Enjoys action and comedy movies

Favourite music is currently Imagine Dragons and their song Radioactive

NAME: Jaco Coetzee

AGE: 17

SCHOOL: Glenwood High School

GRADE: 11

SPORT: Rugby, Athletics

ACHIEVEMENTS: Acting Deputy Head Prefect

Craven Week Rugby 2013

KZN Sevens

Honours for Rugby

Half Colours for Athletics

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