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Zandile and Zihle, changing lives through sport



“Some strive to make themselves great. Others help others see and find their own greatness. It's the latter who really enrich the world we live in” - Rasheed Ogunlaru.

This quote sums up the Western Cape's joint Lead SA Youth Heroes for August.

Zandile Mpeluza and Zihle Lusani, both in Matric at Wellington High School, were nominated by a proud Mpumi Lallie from SCORE.

Zihle and Zandile are the coaches of the Netball team at Mbekweni Community Sports Centre.

They decided to coach as they wanted to make a difference in the lives of the girls from Mbekweni as they realised that through sport they can be role models.

Drugs, gangsterism and "sugar daddies" are big social challenges that are faced by Mbekweni youth, especially young girls in the community.

Zihle and Zandile encourage the girls to be disciplined in the training sessions as well as outside, in their daily lives.

They often have team meetings where they discuss life skills and give the other girls sound advice.

“Some of the players are at the beginning of their high school careers and we are on our way out, so we help them cope with the new environment they find themselves in,” said Zihle and Zandile.

Zihle realised her potential to lead when she was given an opportunity to referee a local high school derby match and realised that she can be a leader.

She has not looked back ever since and she continues to motivate her girls to become better citizens.

Zandile was coached by the Netball coach from the Sports Centre and when the coach left, she took the lead role with the help of Zihle.

These two coaches have been incredibly successful, making the centre proud by winning under 15 Mayors Cup in 2013 and winning all their friendly matches played in 2014.

Despite their young age - the average age of the players being 15 - they are looking forward to participating in the senior league in the Drakenstein Netball League.

Both coaches play Netball at school and assist in a senior team in Mbekweni and love attending the fitness and aerobics classes that are being offered at the Sport Centre.

Zandile is also a member of the Sport Centre Ladies Soccer team and Zihle assists with the administration at the weekly Social league programme.

Both coaches have attended separate leadership courses that were offered as part of the partnership that SCORE has with the Paarl Rotary Club.

Zihle participated in the “Adventure into Citizenship Camp” in 2013 and Zandile in the Youth Leadership Award in 2014.

Both have won awards at the Mbekweni Community Sport Leaders Awards in 2012 and 2013 in recognition for their contribution and Leadership.

We salute Zihle and Zandile for committing themselves to making a difference.


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