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Young rugby player aims for Springbok Sevens

Kopano Dibakwane
2 June 2017

Ernest Mthethwa from Simile, Sabie, has refused to allow an underprivileged background to determine his future. He was raised by a single mother, Pinky Mthethwa, who worked tirelessly for twenty-six years as a domestic worker. Mthethwa was introduced to rugby while at primary school and he has now been selected to join the Centurion Warrior Academy to play in a tournament in Dubai. He does however; need a sponsor to cover his costs for the trip.

“I grew up knowing that you don’t just get what you want, because we couldn’t afford many things, said Mthethwa. “I played a lot of sport at school, like soccer and athletics. I was never a good rugby player, I was just there. I played in the Sabie Primary under 14 rugby team. I later went to Penryn College where I played for the first team for the last three years. I was a small guy, who didn’t make a lot of friends because of my background, but rugby made me popular at school,”

He credits Debbie and Andre Möller from Sabie for their support since he was a child. They helped him to receive a good education until he completed matric and also played an active role in his rugby.

“In grade nine I went to the under 16 Pumas trials. I was selected to play against the Blue Bulls but I was injured a few weeks before the match and couldn’t play,” continues Mthethwa. “During 2014 and 2015, I was selected for the squad to play the Sevens Rugby in Mauritius. I also made the Pumas Under 18/19 team before going to play in a tournament in Dubai in 2016. I am presently part of the Under 20 Pumas and I am hoping to get a contract to play for the adult team. I dream to further my career and become a Springbok Sevens rugby player.”

Mthethwa is currently employed as a Sports Intern at Curro Holdings in Nelspruit. He has also started to play for White River Rugby Club from February this year. Readers can call 083-876-2901 for more information or to make a contribution towards Mthethwa’s trip to Dubai.

Image: From left: Pinky Mthethwa, Ernest Mthethwa and Debbie Möller.

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