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Thursday, September 5, 2013
Welabasha High School Wins The KZN Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Final.
Welabasha High School from the
UThungulu District of KwaZulu-Natal is the next school to go through to the
national finals of the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup competition. They
made it through by beating Sibongumusa High School 5 – 4 on penalties to take
the KZN provincial title in Ladysmith last weekend.
The ultimate prize in the
competition is R1 million to be used to fund sporting and educational
projects. For winning the KwaZulu-Natal title, Welabasha were given
R100 000 which, according to Sandile Sabelo, their coach, will be put to
good use. “The school still needs to decide what to do, but I want us to focus
on building a proper pitch as we train on a field that is filled with rocks and
it’s unsafe for the players,” he said. “We also need to buy each player a pair
of boots. They don’t all have their own, and sometimes they have to borrow.”
This is the first time they have
made it to the provincials. “In previous years the downfall was the
team’s level of fitness and their mental game,” Sabelo said. “This year I think
we are better. We train 4 times a week for 2 hours and on weekends we have a
friendly game. Before the provincials I sat down with my team and informed them
about the benefits that this tournament could bring into the schools if we
ended up winning the R1 million. “The boys now understand that we need to win
this tournament so that we can have our own soccer field.”
Sabelo has been coaching for 6 years and has an
Introductory Coaching Course certificate from SAFA. “Apart from those
qualifications, it’s my passion for soccer that drives me to coach,” he said.
He believes that the Sanlam Kay
Motsepe Schools Cup is doing big things for soccer development in the province.
“More and more schools, particularly in the rural areas, are getting involved
in the tournament, not just because we can win money that will help us be more
effective as a school, but also we get to travel and play against other teams
and learn more about the game, and of course it is the scouts that come and
watch the games giving our youngsters the opportunity of taking their soccer to
the next level.
“We stress the importance of
education to our boys and the importance of a balance between academics and
soccer. The players know that if they want to be called up to the academies
they have to have the right marks.”
The coach identifies right wing
Philani Biyela as a key player in the team. “He is in grade 12, on top of his
class academically and a talented player for the team,” he said.
Philani takes his school work
very seriously. “After matriculating I want study Social Services and become a
Social Worker and help in my community,” he said. “And while I am studying
hopefully I will also become a professional soccer player.”
the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
tournament is run under the auspices of the South Africa Football Association
Named after prominent businessman
Patrice Motsepe’s late mother, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers the
biggest prize money at school level in Africa (R3.4 million in total).
sponsors are: Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho
Community Development Trust.
primary objective of the tournament is to revive the culture of school football
amongst students between the age of 16 and 19 years old.
tournament also gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills to
soccer scouts with the talented playersbeing
recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into