Ikhwezi in the stars with hockey

2017-11-23 06:01
Ikhwezilesizwe Primary School teachers and learners after landing at the Cape Town International Airport, on Monday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

Ikhwezilesizwe Primary School teachers and learners after landing at the Cape Town International Airport, on Monday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

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By being nominated for the South African Sports Awards 2017 was good enough to raise the spirits for a Khayelitsha primary school, even though they did not get to lift the trophy.

Teachers and learners at Ikhwezilesizwe Primary School, from E Section, said they were very proud for being one of three schools from across the country to have made the cut to the finals of the awards.

The awards were presented by Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi whose department had worked with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), to organise the event.

The school received a R10 000 cheque just for being nominated in the category.

The school ahs a remarkable hockey squad.

Norma Mayeye, the school principal, said the nomination was powerful enough to send them to cloud nine as it showed that their dedication for playing even in the absence of proper equipment and facilities, has borne fruit.

“We were honoured to be in the list for the national top three schools that made it to the finals.

This was across all sporting codes. It is a dream comes true for us. We see ourselves as stars of the nation. We are following the name of our school. We always clean when we play regardless of competing with privileged peers,” Mayeye said.

Akhona Mlambo, the school’s hockey coach, said their determination in the sport has paid dividends.

“Our players are self-driven and they have the passion for the sport.

We do not have resources, but we do not use that as our stumbling block in our way to success.

We use an old tennis field to play hockey and our learners do not have specialised equipment for the sport. They cannot afford to buy the expensive equipment. We are very happy,” Mlambo said.

Mayeye, Mlambo and Olwethu Mafutha, the captain of the team, were warmly welcomed by teachers and a group of learners at Cape Town International Airport on Monday.

Mafutha said: “Our school is now shining in the country. I got a chance of rubbing shoulders with Olympic champion Caster Semenya. She encouraged us to continue playing the sport.

I want to go places with hockey. As a captain, I have to set a good example and also to ensure that my teammates are disciplined and have respect for our opponents,” he said.

Semenya walked away with people’s choice award, for which she was selected with Luvuyo Manyonga, Wayde van Niekerk, Kagiso Rabada and Chad le Clos.

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