Rugby stars on the rise

2017-11-22 06:00
PHOTO: tania sandbergAmanzimtoti High School pupils, Sduduzo Mseleku and Justin Swart have been invited and sponsored to attend the Investec International Rugby Academy at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg from 8 to 14 December. Participating (from left) are Justin Swart, Gideon Cordier and Sduduzo Mseleku.

PHOTO: tania sandbergAmanzimtoti High School pupils, Sduduzo Mseleku and Justin Swart have been invited and sponsored to attend the Investec International Rugby Academy at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg from 8 to 14 December. Participating (from left) are Justin Swart, Gideon Cordier and Sduduzo Mseleku.

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AMANZIMTOTI High School pupils Sduduzo Mseleku and Justin Swart are making waves in rugby circles. In the latest turn of events, they have been invited and sponsored to attend the Investec International Rugby Academy at St Charles College in Pietermaritzburg from December 8 to 14.

“The course is designed to help players ‘up their game’ regardless of their skill levels and players are mentored by the best in the game, which includes Dick Muir, Nick Mallet, Braam van Straaten and Greg Miller to name but a few,” said Amanzimtoti High’s sports marketing officer, Gideon Cordier.

Cordier recently attended the Investec course for rugby coaches and was inspired to recommend Mseleku and Swart. The coach said the school has seen a drastic increase in requests to play rugby against schools in the first tier, including St Charles, recently.

SWART

Player Justin Swart was a keen soccer player in primary school and only started playing rugby in Grade 7 at Warner Beach Primary. He soon made the DRSU team at district level.

Swart plays fly-half and center. “My stepfather got me into rugby. When I am on the field, I play my heart out and I play for the team. I am not scared to make big hits, if the team requires it from me. I also play with my heart and not with my head,” he said.

Swart is not only a brilliant rugby player, but also excels academically and is at Amanzimtoti High on a half scholarship for rugby and a half scholarship for academics.

Swart practises twice a week at school and also plays club rugby, but unfortunately got injured in the second match this year and will rejoin next season.

“I want to work a great deal on my skills set, get a better vision for the game and hopefully the course will also open some doors,” he remarked.

“Swart’s commitment and passion for rugby, makes him an excellent player. He is also overall an amazing gentleman. He is driven and always gives his best. He is a family man, who puts his family first,” Cordier said.

Swart follows a recommended diet and programme for gym, set up by gym teacher Francouse Grobbelaar.

“A big thank you is owed to coach Francoise Grobbelaar, who joined the school gym in 2013. He holds an Exercise Science Diploma and assists our players in taking the right supplements and keeping them away from the banned substances,” Cordier said.

“I owe a big thank you to principal Louise Lemmer, Mr Gideon Cordier and Mr Moses Mpande for the opportunity given to me,” Swart said.

MSELEKO

Sduduzo Mseleku started playing rugby in Grade 3 at Doon Heights Primary. “There was one pupil, who was about to leave for high school.

“He was like a rugby giant that I looked up to and he helped me tremendously, everybody called him ‘Beast’ and I still look up to him, even though he is playing for another high school,” he said.

Mseleku proved extremely talented and represented the South Coast in the U13 team and also tried out for the KwaZulu-Natal team.

Mseleku was awarded a full sports bursary at Amanzimtoti High School. “I am extremely grateful as it is a great platform for me to showcase my talent,” Mseleku said.

He plays blindside flank. “When we grew up, the coaches tried us in different positions and because I am not so tall, I was placed in this position,” Mseleku said.

“He makes a brilliant blindside flank with his height and his good core,” Cordier said.

Mseleku practises twice a week at school and workout in the school gym daily.

He was given the opportunity to play club rugby by coach Fly van Schalkwyk, but due to a lack of numbers they could not put together an open U18 team this year.

Mseleku said he is hoping to learn from the best of the best at the Investec International Rugby Academy, “especially Pat Lambie and to have a great deal of fun doing it”.

“Sduduzo is a very humble person and his attitude towards life is why the school chooses to support him. God gave him a unique skill, he is a good leader and has the potential to be an Amanzimtoti High Head Boy,” Cordier said.

“I am totally grateful for the opportunity Toti High and principal Louise Lemmer have given me. It has been my dream always to make my granny proud and I have done that.

“I also want to remember the people who have helped me. Thank you so much,” Mseleku said.

Both Mseleku and Swart have been selected for the KwaZulu-Natal trials at Woodburne Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on 2 April, next year.

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