Never-say-die captain sets her sights on SPAR KZN Schoolgirl’s Hockey Challenge victory

2019-07-03 06:00
Lungelo Manqele(right), captain of Wartburg Kirchdorf School, in action at the Inland Regional of the SPAR Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge earlier this year. photo: supplied

Lungelo Manqele(right), captain of Wartburg Kirchdorf School, in action at the Inland Regional of the SPAR Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge earlier this year. photo: supplied

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THE captain of the Wartburg Kirchdorf School First X1 Hockey team, Lungelo Manqele, will lead her team as the current Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional champs onto the astro in the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge that takes place at St Mary’s DSG in Durban on July 20 and July 21.

The Grade 11 centre link started playing hockey in Grade 2 at Wartburg Kirchdorf.

“Most of the girls, I think, started playing in Grade 1 and after seeing their pictures in the year book, I wanted to take part too,” she recalls.

“The thing I enjoy most about hockey is how it’s an adrenaline sport and it’s unpredictable, so this forces you to think fast but also think smart and work with your team.”

Besides hockey, Lungelo also plays soccer and does long jump and 100m sprint in athletics.

“I’m also interested in running — I ran the annual Wartburg MTB Classic for the third time this year and I ran the Durban SPAR Women’s Challenge (10km) for the first time this year.”

Lungelo played in the team that attended the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge in 2017.

“I remember how we were coming last on the first day then, after a few honest words of encouragement from our coach, we managed to take seventh place the next day. It was crystal clear proof of how powerful one’s change of mindset can be — regardless the skill and talent,” said Lungelo of the event.

This scenario says so much about the significant guidance she has been given.

“All the advice I’ve received basically sums up to the fact that one is confined by the limits they create themselves and you will never really know unless you try — so you’ve got to try whole-heartedly and never give up.”

It’s no wonder then that her sports role model is Ongeziwe Mali, who “at a young age (18) has already achieved something as immense as representing South Africa at the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup”.

“I would like to encourage young people to do sports,” she said, adding that playing hockey has taught her so much when it comes to committing to her fellow players and leading a team while also growing individually.

“I am grateful to my family for the support, and to my coach for all the faith she has in my team and I. I am really proud to be their captain and to share a field with them.”

Lungelo sports half colours for academics, a merit certificate for hockey, and a merit certificate for athletics. In 2015, while in Grade 7, she received the prestigious Good Fellowship Award at her school.

While her sights are set on studying a BCom Accounting at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Lungelo also finds time to listen to music, jog, read, write a bit of poetry and spend time with family and friends.

This steadfast young lady said she lives by the words “God doesn’t give you anything you cannot handle — everything happens for a reason,” she says. “I believe that verse from Colossians 23 verse 3: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”

Wartburg Kirchdorf School joins nine other teams from KZN at the Grand finals including St Anne’s College, Epworth School, Crawford La Lucia, Durban Girls’ College, Amanzimtoti High School, Kokstad College, Ferrum High School, St Mary’s DSG, and Felixton College. — Supplied.

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