Hudson Park High School pupil learner Uzile Tele recovered from a serious injury sustained last year to earn a spot in the U18 South Africa rugby team which participated in an international series in the Western Cape this month.
He was selected after taking part in the recent Border Craven Week tournament.
The humble youngster, who hails from Middledrift near King William’s Town, started his schooling career at Adelaide Primary where he was introduced to School where he first learned how to play rugby.
“It was fun, exciting, and I enjoyed every moment. I made the decision that I’d like to carry on playing rugby next year,” he said.
In order to prepare himself for the series, Tele starts off his day at 5am every day to train before school.
“I realised that I had to be self-driven. I told myself every day that I had a goal that I had to work towards,” he said.
Tele excels at enjoyed playing in Hudson’s rugby team as a lock and blindside flanker for Hudson.
In 2016 he was selected to play for the Border U16 team, after which he joined up with South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) U16 elite player development programme.
However, in 2017, he sustained a serious injury and had to undergo a was seriously injured and underwent a complete reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
Tele’s manager, James Winstanley, said the youngster underwent an that he went through an intensive recovery process to regain full use of his functional movements in his knee.
He hopes that following the three-year contract Tele has signed with the Blue Bulls U19 team, he will play a meaningful part in the campaign next year and eventually progress to the SA U20 team.
Tele’s mother, Nomthandazo Tele, said she was overjoyed by the news after hearing that her son had been selected for the national team.
“This is a big achievement. He was very stressed when he had his injury, but I encouraged him a lot,” she said.
She added that she had encouraged her son by emphasising that “studying and sport should be parallel to each other”.
These strides in Tele’s career were made possible by a scholarship he received from Jumbo Clothing, who will support him until he matriculates.
His advice to other youth is “to carry the ball forward and achieve your goals.”
“If you want it, you can get it. Work until you get what you want – nothing is impossible.”