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Alberton’s Nakedi Malesa seeks community support to reach England

Nakedi Malesa is set to got to England to represent South Africa in the Touch Rugby World Cup in July.

Alberton’s Nakedi Malesa requests the community to help her make her dreams come true of representing South Africa in England in July.

Nakedi was born in Mokopane, Limpopo in 1999 and traversed through Bloemfontein before settling in Alberton in 2008 with her family.

According to Nakedi, sports have always been her greatest passion, which is why she excelled in netball and athletics while she was a learner at Glenview Primary School and then Bracken High School.

She experienced Touch Rugby for the first time in 2013 after her coach saw her potential and urged her to try out for the provincial squad. From there, it was no turning back.

“Life took a turn during my matric year when academic demands forced me to pause my playing career. From this setback emerged a new opportunity – a career in officiating.

“Transitioning from player to referee, I found a new way to contribute to the sport I love, all while earning extra income during the touch rugby season at school,” Nakedi said.

She joined the Eastern Touch Association (ETA) in 2014, as she believed she was starting a journey that would have a significant impact on her future.

Everything reignited her love for the game, from the excitement of competing in her first Junior Inter-Provincial Tournament in Durban to the satisfaction of winning awards like best female touch tugby player and most valuable player at the provincial and school levels in 2016.

The rising star said the following years were a whirlwind of growth and learning as she officiated her first Junior Inter-Provincial Tournament (JIPT) in 2019 for the Western Cape Touch Association and received her level three referee badge in 2023.

“Each milestone was filled with growth and excitement.”

Nakedi temporarily relocated to further her civil engineering studies at the University of Cape Town.

“My time in Cape Town from 2018 to 2022 posed its own set of challenges. Adjusting to life in Cape Town was not easy. Homesickness and the struggle to find my footing in a different community tested me in ways I had not anticipated.

“Yet, amid the uncertainty, I found solace and purpose on the touch rugby fields,” she said.

She said her haven was officiating games, which gave her a feeling of belonging and a way to interact with players from all walks of life. Her relationships gave her a reassuring sense of familiarity in an unfamiliar environment.

These encounters reinforced her passion for officiating, which demonstrated the relationships and experiences refereeing creates are just as important as the game itself.

In 2023, she completed her studies and returned to Alberton and also back to ETA.

Naledi Malesa in action.

After returning to Alberton, she had the privilege of officiating at the Youth Atlantic Tournament Cup in Nottingham, England. Also, she won the Best Female Referee of the tournament title.

“Perhaps the crowning moment came when I received the news of my selection as an official for the Touch Rugby World Cup in Nottingham, England.

“It was a dream I had dared to envision, made possible through grit, determination, and the unwavering support of my community,

“I turn to you, dear community, in the hope that you will join me on this extraordinary journey. The cost of participating in the World Cup amounts to R60 000, a sum that feels daunting yet surmountable with your help,” she said.

For those who wish to offer their support, please make your donation to the following account:

Bank name: Discovery Bank

Account holder: Nakedi Malesa

Account type: Savings

Branch code: 679000


Account number: 11243617691

Reference: Your name + World Cup

For more information, contact Nakedi Malesa at nakedimalesa@gmail.com or 084 539 9487.

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