Trio to fly SA flag in various disciplines
THREE Hudson Park High School pupils, Sisipho Ndlabhu, Kwanda Mbalekwa and Rhys Poovan will be representing South Africa in various sporting disciplines.
Sisipho Ndlabhu and Kwanda Mbalekwa, both in Grade 11, were selected for the South African U19 tennis team that will travel to London later this year and Poovan for the pentathlon.
“It’s a really great opportunity. I’ve put in many hours and sacrificed a lot so I’m really happy to be able to have this experience,” Mbalekwa said.
As part of the U19 South African team, the two talented tennis players will attend the Sutton Tennis Academy in Surrey, London. Sutton is one of the top tennis academies in the United Kingdom (UK).
They will also train at and play against pupils from the leading co-educational tennis school in the country, Millfield Tennis Academy.
“The best part is that we’re going to get to play on different turfs, we’re going to get to play on a clay court,” Mbalekwa said.
Ndlabhu, who first made the South African U13 team in 2013, is more excited about getting the opportunity to watch Wimbledon.
“It’s really cool that we’re going to get the chance to watch professionals live. “Back in 2011 I made the South African U11 team as a reserve and I think that’s what really pushed me to make the team, when I was 13. Since then I’ve been working hard and I’m really happy that I’ve made it this far,” Ndlabhu said.
After coming first overall at the pentathlon nationals, fellow Hudson Park High School pupil, Poovan, was selected to attend the World Champs in Czech Republic in July and the Africa Games which will take place in Nigeria in November.
“I started out with biathle and over the years I just kept looking for the next challenge and pentathlon offered that,” he said.
Africa Games is also the Youth Olympic qualifying event. “They only take one athlete from Africa, so it’s going to be a tough competition.”
He will also be attending training sessions with the U/19 South African team in Egypt in September.