WATCH | Khayelitsha teen's baseball dream a financial nightmare

2019-07-26 07:00
Anovuyo Kethelo. (News24)

Anovuyo Kethelo. (News24)

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Having shown the same dedication to baseball when he first started playing at the age of 13 as he does currently, it is unsurprising that Khayelitsha-born Anovuyo Kethelo, 18, was recently selected to showcase his skills at the under-18 World Cup in South Korea. 

One would imagine that being selected for such a big event was all it took but the hardest part is not over yet and it is a factor that may still prevent Kethelo, who plays for Battswood, from setting foot on the baseball diamond at the tournament.

Struggling to get enough taxi fare to attend baseball practice regularly is a challenge on its own but coming up with R30 000 for a plane ticket to South Korea, and a few essential extras, is a whole other ball game for Kethelo.

South Africans have generally been known for being passionate about sports such as rugby, cricket and soccer and the Western Cape suburb of Khayelitsha is no different. 

Baseball in comparison to these sports has generated little interest in the community in the past but more children are now becoming interested in playing it thanks to people like Kethelo.

But not everyone in the community shared the same opinion, he said.

"Some of my friends say that I am a gifted baseball player but some say that I do not belong in the hood because in the hood you always play soccer and if you don't play soccer then you have to become a gangster."

Battswood's secretary, Deidre Marquard who has been instrumental in raising funds for Kethelo, told News24: "The highlight for him was 2019, when he was chosen to represent the Cape Town baseball confederation side at a tournament in Port Elizabeth. This was where he was selected to be part of the under-18 training squad for South Korea this year."

Marquard understands the financial challenges that Kethelo face daily with regards to attending baseball practice.

"He has been an inspiration to the youth in his community to reach for their dreams, no matter what, whether it be through sport or something else. Therefore, we would just like to make this a reality for him."

If any News24 readers would like to assist in making Kethelo's World Cup dream a reality, donations can be made at www.backabuddy.co.za/anovuyo-khethelo

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