Ikhwezi shines as national hockey heroes

2015-05-07 06:00

Ikhwezi Lesizwe girls hockey team were also praised.

voox sonandzi

Ikhwezi Lesizwe girls hockey team were also praised. PHOTOs: voox sonandzi

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The red carpet was rolled out for the Ikhwezi Lesizwe Primary School boys hockey team four months after winning the national championships in Pretoria.

In a celebratory event held at the Malibongwe Restuarant at the Look Out Hill on Friday, the big-hearted stars were treated to a glittering affair.

Parents ululated abd beat their breasts with pride whilst showering the coaching staff and players with praises.

Norma Mayeye, principal said the school’s achievement was not unexpeceted because “all the players were commited”.

“When they went to play in Pretoria in December were were certain they would do well but winning the national trophy was a very big achievement,” said Mayeye.

Director of School Sport, Francois Lubbe, said they were impressed with the team’s progress.

“We have seen them grow from nobodies to champions. The trophy will carry dust but memories of them lifting it will last forever,” he said.

Western Cape chairperson of primary schools hockey, Noreen Wannacot, said it was a “bold to decision” on their part to introduce hockey to the school.

“This has paid dividends, we have champions today, champions who are supported by loving parents and teachers,” she said.

Wannacot also heaped praises on the team’ s head coach Gloria Nobuntu Baartman and Akhona Mlambo.

She made a special mention of Mrs Mayeye.

“The principal’s passion is infectious and she leads from the front,” she said.

Baartman being her shy self gave credit to her players and assistant coach Akhona Mlambo for winning the national trophy.

“I am very excited for this team and their victory will embolden our misson of making hockey one of the popular sports in the townships,” said Baartman.

School captain Ngwane Vilakazi was hailed for his onfield leadership and academic excellence.

His onfield exploits led him to be chosen as the Let’Play Siyadlala/City Vision Sportsman of The Year (2014) and he also earned a bursay to purse education at Wineberg Boys High where his hockey will blossom.

His proud parents Halima and Theo Vilkazi were also smiles as he took to the podium to thank everyone concerned with development.

Xolile Mlungu from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport mass and opportuimity and development centre programme said sport schools should be part of his programme.

“This is certainly a game changer and we need everyone involved. Khayelitsha is a hotbed of talent and we can unearth more Ngwanes in the future,” he said.

He called on teachers to assist coaches.

Speaking on behalf of School Governing Body, Theo Vilakazi, said the success of Ngwane and his team will open doors for other children in years to come.

“This will motivate other children to take part and excel in sports and education,”he said.

Mayeye added that her school will embark on programmes aimed at reviving schools sports. “We have started rope skipping and we will add more codes to make sure that we expand chances of our children participating and winning more events,” she said

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