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06 March 2020 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Supplied
Nomsa Mathontsi
Nomsa Mathontsi has been training with the South African senior women’s football team since Monday (03/02).

Whether she takes to the field or not, being part of the senior national women’s soccer team is already an accomplishment, says Nomsa Mathontsi. 

The BAdmin student in Economic and Management Sciences has been chosen for the Banyana Banyana squad for the first time. They face Lesotho on Sunday, 8 March 2020 in an international friendly in Johannesburg. There could be two Kovsies on the field, as Mating Monokoane, another University of the Free State student, was selected for Lesotho’s team. Both of them are midfielders.

The 21-year-old Mathontsi, who has been part of the Kovsie football team since 2018, says it will be a dream come true for her to wear the national colours. “Even if I don't get to play, I will still be proud of myself for being able to take on the challenge of going to camp and giving myself a chance to show my talent.”

“We have been together since Monday, 2 March 2020 and it has been the best experience, especially the fact that football has put me in the high-performance centre (South African Football Association girls’ academy), and now I get an opportunity to be with Banyana for the first time.”

“I was shocked when I got the call, but excited to face the challenge because it's never easy to get a call-up to Banyana, you need to work for it,” she says.

According to Mathontsi, who grew up in Mamelodi, Pretoria, her first love was athletics, but that changed during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“I was an athlete back in primary school and it just so happened that I was selected to play football, which I never really enjoyed. I also had the opportunity to be part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup ceremonies, where I developed a love for football.”

News Archive

Luvo and Ryk inspire UFS student leaders
2017-10-13

 Description: Luvo  and Ryk  Tags: Luvo Manyonga, Ryk Neethling, IAAF World Championships, World Champion, Khomotso Mamburu 

 Ryk Neethling and Luvo Manyonga have a special bond.
 The sporting duo shared their inspiring stories with student
 Leaders of the University of the Free State.
 Photo: Kaleidoscope Studios


Dreams can come true and Luvo Manyonga’s story is the perfect example. It would make the ideal movie script. This is opinion of the businessman and former international swimmer Ryk Neethling.
 
The Olympic gold medallist and former World Champion and Manyonga shared their stories with new student leaders of the University of the Free State (UFS).

“I am so proud of this guy,” Neethling said. “And we are just half-way through this movie. The best is yet to come.” The 26-year-old Manyonga is the current Olympic silver medallist and World Champion in long jump. But he had to overcome huge obstacles as a former tik or crystal meth addict.

Not an easy road
The duo were guests for a session, Inspirational Stories of Lived Humanising Experiences, which was part of the university’s Student Leadership Training weekend for Student Representative Councils, Residence committees, Residence Assistants and Association Representatives in the Economic and Management Sciences Auditorium on the Bloemfontein Campus.

Manyonga, who is dating the Kovsie netball player Khomotso Mamburu, talked about growing up in Mbekweni township in Paarl, about his career and his setbacks.

After finishing fifth at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011 he started partying when he returned home. “I hooked up with the wrong friends and they introduced me to tik,” he said. “They told me: ‘Hey dude, you are drunk. Just take a hit and it will sober you up.’ I took it and it was nice, but that is where it started.”

Be surrounded by positive people  
Manyonga lost all his money and his sport was also suffering because of his addiction. “At the beginning of 2014 I started to realise that I was throwing my life away and I needed help. I went to reach out to people close to me and told them I had a problem.” He thanked Neethling, who helped him when he was at his lowest, his mother, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Tuks Sport and the High Performance Centre where he trains for the influence on his life.

Neethling’s advice to student leaders was to dream big, work hard, expand your network and find a mentor you can learn from.

“Always surround yourself with positive people,” he said. “You can succeed if you stay positive.”

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