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PE-Express
Youth groomed for top-flight rugby

WANKIE Dlula established Eezee Fana Sports Development some time ago, with the aim of grooming youth to play top-flight rugby.

Dlula stated that he started his programme to introduce rugby to the u/8 to u/13 age groups. Dlula calls this age group the ‘Bulletjies’.

Dlula, affectionately called Fana, informed PE Express that he held meetings with the Seyisi, Inkqubela, Ilungelo, Ebongweni and Ben Nyathi Primary Schools in KwaZakhele so that he could coach the Bulletjies.

Dlula explained, “The response from the schools was very good.

“Since I love the sport of rugby, I started with the training at Seyisi, Inkqubela, Ilungelo, Ben Nyathi and Ebongweni Primary Schools in the afternoons. The learners showed keen interest in playing rugby.

“The support from the schools was immense.”

He said that his Bulletjies started playing their games against Woodridge College, Grey Primary, Clarendon Primary, Excelsior Primary and Summerwood Primary, where Dlula said his players gained a lot of experience.

Once he could see that the Bulletjies were playing rugby at a high level, Dlula launched the Eezee Fana Dragons, aimed at 14- to 19-year-olds.

He recruited players from Itamsanqa, Mzontsundu, Qaphelani and Thubelihle High Schools.

After working very hard, Dlula helped some of his players to get scholarships. Among the list of players who got the scholarship were Zolani “Champ” Mati, Lunga Mbangi, Lulama Mdzoyi and Siya Mthethwa who registered with Pearson High School.

Dlula also mentioned that Simamkele Omo Mcwabeni, who studied at Hillcrest High School and who plays for the University of KZN Varsity Cup team, is the product of the Bulletjies.

Lwandile Menze, who started his rugby career at the Bulletjies, went on to play for Durban High School and for the Sharks u/21 SuperSport Rugby Challenge side.

Dlula said, “Lulama Mdzoyi, Sivuyile Kobokana and his younger brother, Simphiwe, are among the greatest players from our development programme. Mdzoyi played for the EP u/21 side against the Springbok player, Pat Lambie, in Cape Town. Mthethwa plays for the EP Elephants Sports Challenge side.

“Simamkele Mthethwa, who hails from Makhanda, joined our Dragons team and he played for EP u/16 side, and now he plays for Germany.”

Dlula said, “I want to thank Pearson High School for giving scholarships to our players who hail from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“One of our players from Pearson, Ushman Peteni, has just finished his law articles and Zuko Ndlela plays for the Cheetahs Junior Pokomela rugby team. Wandile Ndinisa and Luthando Roboji are worth mentioning in our development side.

“This programme is the platform to unearth young talent. We do not have resources but I dig deep into my own pockets. Anyone who can assist us with training equipment can contact 073 134 2286.”

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