Five Eastern Cape young rugby players have been awarded a chance of a lifetime as their impressive skills on the field has earned them Sharks Academy bursaries.
Centre Siphamandla Matsinya of Dale College, eighth man Adam Mountfort and fullback Jason Raubenheimer, both of Selborne College, and Hoerskool Framesby fullback Lindsay Potgieter were awarded to the youngsters after impressive displays during the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival held at Kearsney College in Pietermaritzburg.
Dale College first team captain Aphelele Fasi will be joining the four as he was awarded the bursary last year but could not make use of it as he was still in Grade 11.
The bursary includes a contract with the academy, accommodation and a tuition bursary valued at over R100000.
Being awarded the all paid bursary is a huge achievement as it puts the boys in prime position to be selected to play for the Sharks.
Mountfort’s mother, Hayley Mountfort, said she was aware that her son shone because of a team effort.
“I am happy for Adam. I am also proud of all his teammates because they wouldn’t shine as players if they were on their own.
“I would like to give recognition to the whole Selborne first team and the coaches as well who have been there for many, many years,” said a proud Hayley.
Another proud mother, Vivien Raubenheimer, Jason’s mother, said the bursary was a good nod for her son.
“I was very stunned by this and excited at the same time. I feel this is a prayer answered because he is very committed to everything he does,” she said.
Jason also captained the Selborne cricket first team that went to play in Sri Lanka over the holidays and on his arrival back in South Africa, he had to travel to Durban the following day to play in the tournament.
The parents of the other players could not be reached for comment.
Speaking to the Dispatch Dale College rugby first team coach Grant Griffith said Matsinya and Fasi deserved the bursaries.
“I am very proud of these two young players. They have put our school on the map because they will now play professional rugby.
“They have been working hard over the years and their hard work is now paying off,” said the proud coach.
Selborne College School Principal Andrew Dewar said Raubenheimer and Mountfort had made the school proud.
“They worked hard and this is a wonderful opportunity for them to continue playing rugby,” he said.
The Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival tournament was played over a period of three days and was filled with all the action as various SA high schools went head to head with each other.
The Selbornian team went unbeaten to the last day of the festival but were overpowered by Monument in their second last game of the festival, forcing them to settle for a 19-12 final score.