St Charles rugby player aims for the stars

2016-05-11 06:00
St Charles College star Sibusiso Mkhize dreams of  following in the footsteps of Free State Cheetahs  fetcher Heinrich Brussouw. PHOTO: supplied

St Charles College star Sibusiso Mkhize dreams of following in the footsteps of Free State Cheetahs fetcher Heinrich Brussouw. PHOTO: supplied

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Name: Sibusiso Mkhize

Age: 18

Sport: rugby

Ambition: to play provincial rugby

ST Charles’s 1st XV rugby player Sibusiso­ Mkhize is proof that with the right attitude and given an opportunity, children from disadvantaged backgrounds can excel.

Sibusiso attends St Charles College on a Jolivet Legacy Award, which is offered to boys who ordinarily would not have access to an independent school education to attend St Charles College.

Rugby for the 1st XV flanker began at the age of nine in the Ashdown township. His mother, concerned for her son’s health in the rugged game, discouraged him at first, but that soon changed.

“As time went by and I sneaked off to play rugby and was enjoying it, she saw me improving and she liked that.”

His talent and ability was soon recognised and he was rewarded with selection to the Pietermaritzburg Districts team. “My game kept growing after that,” Sibusiso smiled.

Being offered a place at St Charles was life-changing, he said. “It was like a dream come true to me. When I first came to St Charles, I was concerned about there being a new dynamic to deal with, but my first day here I was warmly welcomed. It was exciting. Even today, I can’t say there is ever a boring day.”

In 2014, Sibusiso made his debut for the first team. That same season he played in a match he will never forget, he said. “We lost 21-22 to Hilton College. However, I was really impressed by the way we played. From the start to the finish, everyone gave their best. Afterwards, everyone was cramping up. That was a rugby game!”

A ball-winning flank, Sibusiso is stocky and on the short side. Therefore it shouldn’t come as any surprise that he names Heinrich Brussouw as one of his role models. His favourite player, however, is Zimbabwean-born Australian international David Pocock.

“I’m a specialist. I believe what David­ Pocock can do, I can also do. I want to master it. That’s my main aim.”

Like Brussouw, Sibusiso wants to play his rugby in the Free State.

“I believe Free State has everything that you need as a young player. The universities are good-quality institutions,” he explained.

Looking towards his tertiary education, he added: “I’ve got a dream to be a lawyer, but teaching is my thing. I like giving back to society. I would like my future to include teaching kids. I would like to focus on PE and the sports side of things.”

Before then, however, Sibusiso said he will continue to enjoy his time at St Charles: “I’m in the boarding establishment and the boarders are the heartbeat of St Charles. The way the boys believe that things can happen is different. We are optimistic. The way we play comes from our belief. I believe if the 470 boys of St Charles come together as one, we can achieve anything and be amazing.”

That’s a sentiment that relies on every­ individual and in Sibusiso­, St Charles has a young man who has shown that dreams can be turned into reality.

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