Two matriculants from Oscar Mpetha High School are determined to be champions as they ready themselves to conquer the land down under. Thimna Bartman and Xolisa Dutyulwa are part of the South African Lions teams which competing in the Australian Footy International Cup in August. This is a football with different rules which originated in that country in the late 1800s. Bartman and Dutyulwa are part of 13 players from Cape Town that will be representing the country in the 26 member team. Proud principal Andile Matebe said that the school was proud to have the two boys representing in the competition. “The sport is not a popular one especially in our communities but it was introduced to us in 2011 by a former learner and since then our learners have been avid players. This is not the first time that we had representatives as our first group went to Australia in 2014,” he said. He said that the fact that there is so much representation from local communities should be highlighted as Nyanga was notorious for negative activities. “I hope that this adventure for these guys will play a huge role in motivating other young people. There is a lot of talent in our areas and we need to start exposing them to the world,” he said. The duo will be leaving for Perth today (3rd August) where they will stay for three weeks with the team. Bartman, 18, was part of the team that visited in 2014 and he says he is still excited by the journey ahead. “I love the game because it is different that it had afforded me the opportunity to travel and play in foreign places. I just want to go there enjoy the experience and most importantly to represent my country well,” he said. Dutyulwa, who recently took upon the sport, shared the same sentiments of wanting to do well. He told City Vision that apart from the travelling and playing what he is grateful is that the game has took him away from negative activities such as drug abuse and gangsterism. “Ever since I started playing the game I have spent most of my time playing in the field than in the streets. I have enjoyed it and I’m excited about the trip,” he said. The duo’s teacher, Lindiswa Msengana, said that she was also proud of them and was thankful to the principal who galvanised the staff to help with the funds for visa and passports for the two boys.