Flying SA’s flag high

2016-08-16 06:00
Stewart Jacobs and Matthew Truter both from Westridge were two of the five Western Cape player selected to represent South Africa at a recent international softball tournament.

Stewart Jacobs and Matthew Truter both from Westridge were two of the five Western Cape player selected to represent South Africa at a recent international softball tournament.

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Two Westridge teens are making a name for themselves on the international softball scene.

Stewart Jacobs and Matthew Truter have just returned from representing South Africa in an international u.19 mens softball tournament held in Michigan, USA.

Jacobs and Truter were two of five boys from the Western Cape who were selected to represent South Africa at the tournament.

“The selection process was really tough. When the provisional team was chosen in Mafikeng, North West, at the u.19 men’s softball tournament, I was not chosen at first, but later had a call up into the u.19 men’s team to play in Limpopo at the National tournament where I was selected to represent South Africa in the u.19 men’s softball in Michigan,” says Truter.

The tournament was held from Friday 22 July to Monday 1 August.

“It was great to experience different levels of playing against countries such as Japan and New Zealand,” says Jacobs.

“All the teams were extremely good. The speed of the pitchers didn’t come close to what we saw in our local league games here in Cape Town,” says Truter.

Truter also shared his excitement at being selected.

“I was really excited and grateful for the opportunity to represent my country in America,” says Truter.

The boys had to raise funds for accommodation and travel for a training camp held in Johannesburg but had all expenses paid when they travelled to USA.

“Knowing that I was about to catch a plane to America and achieving my dream was amazing, but a nine hour flight to Germany was really tiring and that was not the end of it, we had to catch another flight to Chicago and then a forty minute flight to Saginaw. We were all exhausted, but excited,” Truter recalls.

Both boys have been playing softball from a young age.

Jacobs says he first came to learn about the sport through his brother Levan who also toured with the u.19 team to Canada in 2008.

His most memorable moment of the tournament was the game they played against Israel where they beat them 13-1.

This is also where Jacobs got his first hit of the tournament.

“I love softball because it teaches respect and helps you keep a healthy surrounding. I would like to encourage young children to play the sport. You need to have a talent to go far but if you train hard and practice you can make it,” says Jacobs.

His trip abroad has given him a new found confidence in the sport.

And Truter agrees.

“I feel much more confident now and I now know what to expect if I’m ever to be chosen again to play for my country. I’ve been selected to play in the u.18 Western Cape schools softball tournament which will take place in Pretoria in December,” says Truter.

Jacobs will also play in this tournament.

“I would love to make a career out of this sport but I don’t know that I can,” says Jacobs.

“I want to study to be an entrepreneur because Softball for men is not very well known.”

“I am really keen on using what I have learnt by helping other players improve their game,” says Truter about his future aspirations in the game.

“I plan to concentrate on my game, whether it softball or baseball and my dream is also too start coaching this beautiful game I love so much.”

Jacobs also plays soccer but due to a leg injury he has had to put it on the back burner.

He will also be joining Levan playing in the big leagues soon.

Jacobs says: “There are many clubs who play softball. All you need to do is go to a sports field and sign up.”

The SA team finished in 10th place out of 12 against teams such as Botswana, USA and Australia with Japan, New Zealand and Canada taking top spots.

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