Spar Superstars Northglen News 2023

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High School October

Dayna Beuster

Danville Park Girls’

Dayna makes a splash for SA

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DANVILLE Park Girls’ High School learner Dayna Beuster recently represented South Africa at the World Aquatics Youth Artistic Swimming Championships in Athens Greece.

Over 200 artistic swimmers from more than 30 countries competed at the five-day event which saw athletes compete for medals in a variety of disciplines, including the female and male solo, duet, figures, mixed duet, team and combination events.

“While the team did not secure a podium finish, it was still an incredible experience,” explained Dayna.

“The whole experience from start to finish was awesome. It was so cool meeting people from all over the world and to see where they are in terms of development. We had a chance to speak to the USA and UK teams at the event which was a real eye-opener. Their training was a little more intense than ours, but it was a good experience to learn from.

“My proudest moment on this trip, though, was receiving my SA tracksuit. I’ve always seen our SA swimmers with their tracksuits on and thought how amazing they looked, and to be able to share that and represent my country was an awesome feeling. I only started with artistic swimming in 2021, and I was proud of what I achieved in a short space of time,” she said.

Dayna said she now intends to put her focus into water polo, a sport she sees a future in.

“I play the fetch-and-hold guard positions and it’s been such a great experience playing water polo for the school. I hope to excel in the sport, and I see my future in water polo. Both my mom and dad played at school level, and it has been cool to carry on that tradition,” she said.

Aside from swimming and water polo, Dayna is also involved in hockey.

Kieyara Ramdhani

Avoca Secondary

Science student wins award in international competition

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KIEYARA Ramdhani is the proud winner of a silver medal and of the TikTok Challenge in the Eskom International Science Fair 2023.

The Avoca Secondary learner said her love for science started as a little child.
“I remember looking up at the night sky, fascinated by the stars, wondering about the mysteries of the universe. This curiosity developed from watching the National Geographic Channel about the wonders of nature and being good at natural science subjects in school. Science has become a beacon in my life, illuminating the path of discovery and understanding,” said Kieyara.

She added that entering the competition was an amazing adventure and that participating in both the regional fair and international segments was a dream come true.

“Winning Most Innovative Project at the regional exhibition was an important moment for me, and being honoured as Best Female Scientist at the regional expo is not only a personal achievement but also a message to young girls that science has no gender role,” she added.

Kieyara chose an experiment based on the impact of different soil components on plant growth. She spent hours researching scientific journals, articles and books to understand the current state of knowledge on the subject.
“Winning a silver medal at the international fair is like capturing a sliver of moonlight in my hands,” she said.

Symran Moodley

Crawford International La Lucia

Rhythmic poetry in motion

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HER love for gymnastics started when she was only four years old, after watching a Russian girl twirl and leap, making patterns with a brightly coloured ribbon during the 2012 Olympic Games.

“I was captivated by the way she moved. My mom explained to me that the sport was Rhythmic Gymnastics, so she enrolled me at a gymnastics club a few months later, and I have loved it ever since,” said Symran Moodley, a Grade Nine learner at Crawford International La Lucia College.

She describes the sport as poetry in motion, and her latest achievement is placing first in the provincial section of the KZN Rhythmic Gymnastics Provincial Competition which has earned her a platform and given her the motivation to reach higher. She represented South Africa at the World Gymnaestrada Amsterdam 2023 event which she says was an honour, privilege and the highlight of her year.

“This achievement has made me feel very proud of myself. To practise many hours a week and reach your goal gives you a sense of accomplishment. My coaches are extremely encouraging and motivating, so I was glad that I didn’t disappoint them,” said Symran.

“You feel a sense of belonging despite our differences in culture, language and religion. It’s a chance to make a lot of friends. When you are on that stage with people from all over the world cheering you on, you realise that all those days sacrificed for training and practice were worth it,” she said.

Symran is also a hip-hop, modern, contemporary, and jazz dancer. She placed second in the KZN Dance Festival in the 2022 novice group and recently received double gold at the 2023 Eisteddfod at Northwood College.

Junior & Senior Primary October

Lincoln Burger

Chelsea Preparatory

Rugby and swimming fanatic is going places

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LINCOLN Burger, a Grade Seven learner at Chelsea Preparatory School, is this month’s SPAR Superstar.

He achieves good academic results and has been selected to represent KwaZulu-Natal in rugby at Craven Week.
He has made the U13 A-team for KZN Water Polo which he trained very hard towards.

“At school, I am the captain of the rugby team. I am also the vice-captain of the swimming team A-squad. I play under 13A water polo as well and for the rugby sevens team,” said Lincoln.

The young sportsman’s out-of-school achievements are also admirable as he has represented the province for rugby and life-saving since 2022.
In 2023, he played for the KZN U13A rugby team, took part in the Lifesaving South Africa’s Still Water Inter-Provincial as a nipper and the Marine Lifesaving Club Championships.

“I have performed well in all of the sports that I take part in, especially swimming, where I came first in the U13 age category for flags, iron man and surf swim. I was also nipper for the year, U13 Boys’ Club Champion, and I placed second in the KZN Nipper Championships in 2023,” he said.

To top all of that off, Lincoln has also swum the Midmar Mile.
Spending so much time outdoors and in the ocean means that, naturally, Lincoln is committed to taking care of the environment and doing his bit to preserve it for generations to come, which is why he is a member of the school’s recycling service team.

“The team makes an enormous difference by helping to process the many tons of paper Chelsea collects. On a weekly basis, we weigh, record, post papers and squash boxes. We are part of a fun and friendly team,” he said.
When Lincoln is not on the rugby field or on the beach, he loves to watch the Rugby World Cup and play water polo in his home pool with his brother.

Micahi Meth

Greenwood Park Primary

Micahi shines in Italy

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GREENWOOD Park Primary School learner Micahi Meth has hopes and dreams of one day playing in the Premier League.

The Grade Five learner’s dream team to play for is Manchester City, and he recently got a taste of international football, albeit at a junior level.

Micahi recently returned from Milan Italy where he represented the KZN United U10 Team that competed at the Yes Cup.

The KZN United U10 Team was made up of players from KZN Lyons Football Club, Mtuba Football Academy and Richard’s Bay United Junior.

Locally, the youngster also plays club football for the KZN Lyons as a central attacking midfielder.

The cup featured teams from U10 to U18, with teams from 18 different countries around the world.

The KZN United Team placed fifth at the tournament.

“I really enjoyed the trip and especially playing football in Italy. It was a great experience. The tournament featured teams from all over the world, so the level of competition was high, but I’m proud of our U10 team who placed in the top five. I also had my friend and schoolmate, Kai Laubscher, who was playing in the same team – it was nice to share this memory with him,” he said.

Apart from football, Micahi is also involved in swimming at the school.

Nothando Khumalo

Durban North College

Nothando is a cross country star

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WHEN it comes to the sport of cross-country, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more enthusiastic than Durban North College learner Nothando Khumalo.

Unlike road running, cross-country races are not run along roads or paths but rather over open country, and that is something the Grade Four learner relishes.

Nothando was recently selected to represent the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) U9 Team at the Athletics South Africa (ASA) Cross Country Championships in Gqeberha.

“This was the second time I have been chosen to represent the KZN team, and it was an honour. I was nervously excited for the championships, and although I didn’t place, I’m proud of my achievements. Cross-country is one of my favourite sports, and if I’m not running, I’m watching a cross-country race on television. It is a sport I hope to one day make a name for myself in,” she said.

Nothando is also a member of the Panthane Athletics Club, which her father Mdu belongs to.

“My dad and family have really motivated me to keep dreaming big. I train with the club on a weekly basis, and it has helped me build up my stamina and strength. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead,” she said.

Nothando is also involved in netball, tennis and hockey at school, and her favourite subjects are mathematics and history.

High School September

Yzabela Gabrielle Aromin

Crawford International La Lucia

Gabby takes the stage

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YZABELA Gabrielle Aromin, also known as Gabby to her friends and family, is this month’s SPAR Superstar. The Grade 11 learner attends Crawford College International La Lucia and is known for her love of sport and leadership activities but mostly for her passion and involvement in cultural programmes.

She has been a member of the KZN Schools Swimming Team since 2018 and since 2020 for the college. She was also involved in lifesaving from 2021 to 2022.
Gabby loves the water, but it’s on stage where she really shines with her singing, musical and acting talents.

“I am a member of the KZN Youth Choir. I also played Sandy in Grease, The Musical at Durban High School this year which I really enjoyed. I loved being on stage and playing Sandy. I learnt a lot from this experience which will stay with me forever,” she said.

There are several other accomplishments the rising star has under her belt, including winning Stars of the Universe 2023 in the drama and vocal section.

“I am learning what it takes to actually be a performer. I definitely see myself being on Broadway or in theatre. My favourite actress is Lea Salonga who is a
singer and actress from the Phillipines. I was lucky enough to meet her once. She is such a talented performer,” said Gabby.

Junior & Senior Primary September

Kai Laubscher

Greenwood Park Primary

Kai shines in Italy

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A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME opportunity was how Greenwood Park Primary School learner Kai Laubscher described his recent trip to Milan, Italy.

The Grade Four learner, who plays right wing for KZN Lyons, was part of the KZN United U10 team that competed at the Yes Cup.

The KZN United U10 team was made up of players from KZN Lyons Football Club, Mtuba Football Academy and Richards Bay United Junior.

The cup featured U10 and U18 teams from 18 different countries around the world.

The KZN United team placed fifth at the tournament, but it was the experience and the chance to play teams from all over the world that was the highlight for Kai.

“I loved being a part of the team, and I feel it has benefited my game. Getting a chance to compete against players from around the world was awesome. This was a good chance for us to learn and grow, and I was so proud to be part of this team,” he said.

“My father used to play football, and my brother still plays for Villa Park in Greenwood Park. They inspire me to keep dreaming big and chase my goal of playing professional football for Liverpool and my country,” he said.

Aside from football, Kai also plays cricket and tennis for the school and is involved in swimming.

Liam Govender

Hamptons Primary

Liam is ‘on track’

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MEET the rising star of Hamptons Primary, Liam Govender, a Grade Six learner who has just achieved something incredible. He has also been chosen at this month’s SPAR Superstar.

The 11-year-old has qualified for KZN Athletics in not one, but three events, which include long jump, 80m sprint, and 100m sprint.

“I am excited and a bit nervous. At the same time, I am really proud that I get to represent my school at the event,” he said.

Liam’s dedication and hard work, which started in Grade Three, have paid off in a big way. His passion for athletics has driven him to excel, and his recent qualifications are a testament to his talent and commitment.

In long jump, Liam has displayed exceptional skill, soaring through the air with grace and precision. His 80m and 100m sprints are equally impressive, showcasing his speed and agility.

He’s a true triple threat on the track.

Liyano Meyer

Glenashley Preparatory

Top spot for Olympiad whizz

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LIYANO Meyer, a Grade Seven learner at Glenashley Preparatory School, came first in the South African National Geography Olympiad (SANGO) which took place in July.
The SPAR Superstar for the month placed first in the primary school category for the province.

“I was tested on natural disasters, volcanoes and general questions about the Earth and oceans. I like geography because it teaches me about the Earth and everything on it. I also learn about topics such as weather and climate,” said Liyano.
Speaking about being placed first, the geography whizz said he felt very proud and happy about this achievement.

“I am proud of myself and to have been part of the Olympiad,” he said.
Liyano’s passion is not limited to academics. He also loves playing cricket and rugby.
“In Grade Six, I was chosen to play first-team cricket, and this year, I was chosen to play for the Sevens’ first rugby team. I enjoy motorcross and enduro, and I like the adrenaline rush when I do jumps on a track!”

Mackenzie Miles

Virginia Preparatory

Mackenzie has the footy skills

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VIRGINIA Preparatory School learner Mackenzie Miles has proven her sporting talent both on terra firma and in water.

The Grade Seven learner recently represented the Izinkanyezi U13 football team that took part in the Bill Stewart Football Tournament at Camp Discovery, north of Tshwane.

The team was one of three coastal teams from the KZN Invitational Primary School Soccer Association (KZNIPSSA) that participated.

Mackenzie, who plays as a defender, helped her team to win a silver medal at the tournament where she was also voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP).

The talented 12-year-old was also recently selected for the Coastal Water Polo team to attend KZN trials in October this year.

“I started playing football in Grade Two, and I haven’t looked back since. It is my favourite sport and one in which I hope to continue to excel. Although I normally play as a striker, I played in the defence at the Bill Stewart Tournament which was a really great experience. I train every day in football, and my ultimate goal would be to play for Banyana Banyana. They played so well at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, and I would love to represent my country on the world stage,” she said.

Mackenzie’s favourite football player is Cristiano Ronaldo who plays his football for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

She is also a member of the United Soccer Academy and DC Footstars Elite Girls’ Training.

Speaking on her water polo achievement, Mackenzie said she is looking forward to the challenge of the trials.

“Water polo is a new sport for me. I only started playing it at school this year. I play in goal, and I’m going into the trials in October with a positive mindset. It would be great to make the KZN team, but I know it will be tough,” she said.

Ngcebo Cele

Columbia Primary

Ngcebo excels at bee

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COLUMBIA Primary School learner Ngcebo Cele recently placed first in his grade at the Inter-School isiZulu Spelling Bee Competition.

The Grade Six learner was one of three others from Columbia who helped his school win the overall competition.

The competition, hosted at Avoca Primary School, saw 11 other schools take part and tested the learners’ abilities to spell complicated words orally.

“Going into it, I was hoping to win. When I was chosen to represent my school, it was a proud moment and my family were so happy. They wanted me to win, and that really helped me in the competition. I had also competed in an English spelling bee at the school where I placed second. I love languages, so for me, this competition was fun. The judges gave us some tough words throughout the tournament. The one I most remember is the word isixongoxongo, which means chaos in isiZulu and isixhwayixhwayi, which means mentally disturbed,” he said.

Brian Mudaly, acting principal of the school, said he was proud of all the learners who competed.

“We are absolutely proud of all the learners and of Ngcebo, who were exceptional. Because of the learners’ achievements, we won the competition overall, which is a great honour for the school. I feel that spelling bees help learners gain a good knowledge of words and build character,” he said.

Ngcebo also plays football for the school, and his life goal is to become a pilot.

Sibusiso Ryan Mbamba

Chelsea Preparatory

Top of the field and classroom

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IF it has anything to do with sport, you can be sure that you will find Sibusiso Ryan Mbamba close by.

The Grade Six Chelsea Preparatory School learner plays rugby, cricket, hockey and water polo and is a member of the school teams for the each of the sports.

He is also on the B-squad for swimming and regularly enjoys road running, too. Apart from his performance on the field, in the pool and on the road, Sibusiso achieved academic merit in his mid-year results, placing first in his class.

“I placed third at a recent interhouse cross-country meet. It was a very exciting accomplishment. I also represented KZN for hockey in the U13 age category,” he said.

Sibusiso’s teachers have commended him for maintaining a healthy balance at school – excelling in the classroom and giving his utmost on the sports field.

“When I am not on the sports field, I love spending my spare time with my friends,” he said.

Junior & Senior Primary August

Kwenzokuhle Zulu

Hamptons Primary

Head Boy was born to lead

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BEING a good leader is what Kwenzokuhle Zulu enjoys the most about being Head Boy at Hamptons Primary. The Grade Seven learner is excited to be chosen as this month’s SPAR Superstar.

“I aspired to become Head Boy because I wanted to be a role model within the school community. After the difficult application process, it was exciting to see that my efforts had paid off. I was lucky enough to have had a little bit of experience in the leadership role as I was first elected as a prefect when I was still in Grade Six,” he said.

Kwenzokuhle takes all his duties very seriously and sets out to improve many of his own talents, which include communication, time management, organisation, and public speaking.

“Being Head Boy has afforded me the opportunity to mingle with the teaching staff and participate in decision-making concerning the welfare of the school. I also assist with organising charity events and running weekly meetings,” he said.
He said he loves being Head Boy as it enables him to care for his school, which has become his second family.

“Indeed, my experience as a Head Boy has been very enriching, and I thoroughly enjoy it,” he said.

When Kwenzokuhle takes a break from his leadership activities, you can find him on the soccer field or busy with a drawing.
“I love playing soccer and enjoy art very much, as well,” he said.

Tyler Wolmarans

Chelsea Preparatory

Tyler comes alive in the ring

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TYLER Wolmarans, currently in Grade Six at Chelsea Preparatory School, is this month’s SPAR Superstar. Not only does he achieve good academic results, but he is also a member of the school’s U13C rugby team and the art club.

It’s in the boxing ring, however, where the lad truly comes alive.
Tyler started boxing at the age of five and has competed in two fights.
The first fight was at the Hurt Game Kings Fight Night in early 2022 where he and his opponent won an award for ‘Fight of the Night’. Funds raised from the event were donated to HOLAH (Home of Hope and Love), who provide a safe, loving haven for abandoned or orphaned babies.
His second fight took place in June this year, which he won.

“I train for an hour every morning before school. This includes a cardio workout. I’m preparing for another fight which takes place in October this year,” he said.

When Tyler is not in the boxing ring or at school, you will find him lost in the world of art.

“I love to draw and create artistic images. I also enjoy building with Lego, Star Wars Lego, in particular, and watching TV,” he said.

High School August

Keira King

Crawford International La Lucia

Saving sea life is her goal

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OCEAN conservation is the name of the game for Keira King who is a 16-year-old learner at Crawford International La Lucia. The Grade Nine learner is this month’s SPAR Superstar.

“Last year, I completed the Robben Island swim. It was a 7.5km swim in 10.5 degrees [Celsius] water, and it took me two hours and 12 minutes to complete. I did the swim to raise funds for the turtle rehabilitation at Two Oceans Aquarium. I raised R25 000 for them,” she said.
She was also invited to an ocean literacy conference in Cape Town in May this year to represent the youth of South African in regards to the future of the ocean.

“It was amazing to learn from all the different people who have the same goal which is to protect our oceans and marine life,” added Keira.
She also recently completed a 46km Paddle4Penguins on a mali board, starting in Ballito at 08:04 on Saturday, August 12 and ending at uShaka Beach at 15:25. She paddled for seven hours and 20 minutes and had the biggest smile on her face.

“I completed this paddle to raise funds for The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) who work with rescuing and rehabilitating our African penguins. I have a sponsor called Hired Gun Coffee who are aligned with my ideas and the ideas of the youth making a positive change to our world,” said Keira.

When she completes her schooling, Keira plans on studying oceanography or marine social sciences.
She is also a lifeguard and a member of Pirates Lifesaving Club.

Junior & Senior Primary July

Eli Bedderson

Chelsea Preparatory

Eli serves up an ace

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ELI Bedderson, a Grade Six learner at Chelsea Preparatory School, is passionate about sport, especially tennis.

He is a member of the tennis (A-squad), swimming (A-squad), water polo, cricket and hockey teams at school.

Outside of school, he has represented the 2023 KZN U13A Tennis Team, and in 2022, he was selected for the KZN U13B Tennis Team.

“I started playing tennis at the age of about five. I entered mini tournaments and joined the school tennis team in Grade Two. Rafer Nadel is my favourite tennis player because he never gives up – just like me,” said Eli.

His most memorable moment as a tennis player is making the U13 KZN A-Team this year.

“I was shocked and happy about this achievement but mostly proud of myself. The hard work paid off as I train four times a week. I hope to play professionally one day and would like to win a grand slam,” he added.

Eli also enjoys cricket and admires Ben Stokes. “When it comes to swimming, Micheal Phelps is the man,” says Eli.

Eli also represented the U12B Umlazi Boys’ Hockey Team this year.

When Eli isn’t involved in sport, he reads Harry Potter books and plays FIFA 2023, Fortnite and Call of Duty.

Kajol Ramlachan

Hamptons Primary

Young Kajol is a do-gooder

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THIS month’s SPAR Superstar from Hamptons Primary School is 12-year-old Kajol Ramlachan. She is an academic achiever who also loves sports and dance.

Tap and hip-hop are her favourite styles of dance. She has danced at several shows with her dance school, Step in Time.

Last year, Kajol, with a group of dancers from Durban (trained by the amazing Enver Moola and his team), performed the opening dance for the Confederation of African Football at King Zwelithini Stadium.

“For me, dancing is like reading a good book – it draws you into a magical world. When I dance, I connect with the music; I can express myself,” she said.

“I am proudly the head girl of my school this year. It’s an honour be part of this key role at my school,” added Kajal.

For Kajol, giving back and paying it forward has always been something she feels passionately about.

“I donate yearly to the Durban & Coast SPCA, Durban North Baby Home, and I am an earth angel for the WWF – Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release Programme. This year, I will be initiating a sanitary-towel drive. I live by these words: ‘Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.’ (Dalai Lama). All it takes is kindness and a little bit of time to make our world a better place,” she said.

“I decided to initiate a sanitary drive after watching a programme on TV. So many girls and young women in South Africa don’t attend school when they are menstruating due to not having access to sanitary towels. This broke my heart. Every girl should have access to sanitary towels and should never be exposed to discomfort, shame or loss of dignity,” she said.

Lara Collins

Virginia Preparatory

Lara helps team make history

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LARA Collins was part of a history-making team at the recent Outdoor Hockey Interprovincial Tournament (IPT) held in Hilton.

The Grade Six learner from Virginia Preparatory School, who was selected for the KZN U12B team, recently helped her team win a silver medal.

It was a first for the B-team, whose previous best finish was sixth place at the IPT.

“It was a really big achievement and one we as a team are proud of. It was also my first KZN selection. I love being a part of a team and meeting new friends. I was shocked and happy at the same time as being hugely honoured at representing my province. My goal for next year, though, is to make the KZN A-team,” she said.

Lara was also selected to attend the KwaZulu-Natal U12 netball trials, but had to choose between netball and hockey as both interprovincial tournaments (IPT) were at the same time.

“My goal this year was to improve my skills in netball. I feel I’ve done that because I was also selected for the school’s outdoor and indoor netball team. I feel very happy with all of the achievements I’ve accomplished this year alone. My focus has now shifted to indoor hockey. I’m excited for the next term of sports as I play for the first school hockey team and will be participating in the Pro Series Indoor (PSI) hockey trials again,” she said.

When she’s not on the field, Lara is passionate about the ocean and just being in the water.

“I have started playing water polo this year, and although I’m involved in various sports, my first love is swimming and watersports. I feel sport is my passion as it helps me stay focused and it’s teaching me to be more confident each day.”

This year alone, she has made her school’s swimming squad and the outdoor and indoor netball teams and has won a silver for Sprints in lifesaving at the KZN Nipper Championships.

Levi Vosloo

Crawford La Lucia

Surf's up for Levi

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LEVI Vosloo is an avid surfer whose love for the ocean started so long ago that he can’t even remember when.

“I’ve always loved being in the ocean, but I started surfing when I was four years old,” he said.

The 10-year-old is in Grade Five at Crawford La Lucia International Preparatory and is this month’s SPAR Superstar.

He came first in the Sea Harvest Nahoon Open in East London in May and went on to win the New Pier Sea Harvest Contest, too.

“I have now qualified for the Surf SA Champs in Jeffreys Bay in October. I will be representing Illembe. I am so excited to surf that contest because I love surfing that particular wave,” he said.

“Some of my most memorable surfing moments are surfing Jeffreys Bay. The waves were really big, and I caught some amazing ones. I also loved the time when I was surfing with my friends in Ballito, and I got a really nice barrel. There were also dolphins. It was great winning that event because I have been practising and trying really hard,” said Levi.

Other than surfing, its safe to say that Levi loves anything to do with sport and athletics, as well as music. His hobbies are fishing, basketball and cooking.

“My favourite subjects are PE, because I love doing athletic things, and music, because I like the sound of my chosen instrument which is the drums,” he added.

“My dream is to one day get into the Championship Tour and travel the world surfing,” he added.

High School July

Codie Bestbier

Danville Park Girls’ High School

Codie nets her goals

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WHETHER it is outdoor or indoor hockey, one cannot deny the talent of Danville Park Girls’ High School learner Codie Bestbier.

The Grade Eight learner, who plays for her school’s first team (outdoor), recently represented her school at the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge.

The 15-year-old, who is the youngest player in the first team, said she feels undaunted by playing against girls older than her.

“Playing in the Grand Finals was such an awesome experience. We don’t often get the opportunity to play against so many of the teams at the tournament so it is always a massive learning curve. It was quite a tough tournament but I also had so much fun. I feel as a player, tournaments like this only benefit you and help you grow.

I’m also honoured to represent my school as I feel they see my talent, and I’m thankful they recognise my potential. I may be the youngest in the team, but I don’t feel that pressure. We are all treated as equal, and playing with the older girls gives me the opportunity to play at a higher level,” she said.

Codie, who started playing hockey when she was four years old, said she prefers indoor hockey, another aspect of the sport she has excelled at.

She was also recently selected for the Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Africa All Stars Team that will be touring Europe in January 2024.

“I’m really looking forward to that tour to Germany and the Netherlands. Besides having the chance to play against other European teams, we also have an opportunity to meet members of the Netherlands’ National Indoor Hockey Team. I cannot wait for that journey to begin,” she said.

Codie added she was also inspired by the SA National Indoor Hockey Team, who earlier this year made history by becoming the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of an Indoor Hockey World Cup.

“They were phenomenal, and I had the chance to watch them on home soil. My favourite player and my coach, Jess Lardant, is someone I admire in the team and someone I hope to emulate. I was fortunate enough to receive a signed warm-up T-shirt from the team that is now one of my most prized possessions,” she said.

Daniel Bergset

Northwood School

Daniel excels at champs

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NORTHWOOD School learner Daniel Bergset recently excelled at the KwaZulu-Natal Lifesaving Champs and then at the Lifesaving Inter-Provincials where he represented the province earlier this year.

The matriculant, who is a member of Umhlanga Rocks Surf Lifesaving Club, won six medals at the two events in what was one of his most successful years as a lifesaver.

At the KZN champs, Daniel won three gold (Junior Sprints, Senior Sprints and Senior Flags) and a silver (Junior Flags) and then followed that up at the interprovincials where he won a silver (Board Relay) and bronze (Flags) medal.

“The competition was much tougher at the interprovincials. Having said that, I was proud of my bronze and silver medals. I also placed fifth in Sprints at the event. These types of events are where you grow as a lifesaver, so overall, I was very pleased with how things panned out. It was also an honour making the KZN team for the first time,” he said.

The 18-year-old also has a strong family tradition with his father, mother and older brother all involved in lifesaving.

“I’ve always been surrounded by watersports like surfing and lifesaving. My older brother, Brayden, is someone I look up to because he has represented South Africa and excelled at various local and national tournaments. He always shares advice with me and gives me words of wisdom. If there was anyone I’d want to emulate, it’s him,” he said.

Outside of the water, Daniel also plays hockey, football and water polo for the school.

Zakiyyah Gangat

Northlands Girls’ High School

Zakkiyah has the smarts

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TECH-SAVVY is certainly a phrase you’d use for Northlands Girls’ High School learner Zakiyyah Gangat.

The Grade 12 learner recently made it to the final round (Round 3) of the Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) Computer Applications Technology (CAT) Olympiad.

She was one of only 11 learners across the country to make it to the final round of the Olympiad, a feat she is proud of.

“I have entered before thanks to our teacher who encouraged us to participate. The furthest I’d made it was Round 1 last year where I received a gold certificate. This year, to make it to the final round was a huge achievement for me. I feel very proud of myself, especially as I wasn’t expecting to go all the way. I’m glad I did take part as it was a lovely experience. It definitely helped me with computer skills and taught me a lot of things,” she said.

Zakiyyah said the support of her family, and especially her mother, have been her guiding lights in her academic achievements.

“My mom supports me through everything I do. She is always there for me which gives me that boost of confidence and helps me excel. She always tells me to do my best, which encourages me,” she said.

The 17-year-old said she hopes to study law next year.

Junior & Senior Primary June

Kai Steveni

Glenashley Junior Primary

Chess fanatic makes KZN trials

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KAI Steveni, a Glenashley Junior Primary learner, is chess crazy. He also plays hockey, soccer and rugby, but chess is his favourite.

The SPAR Superstar recently competed in the Durban and District Chess Tournament where he won five out of the seven games he played, making him eligible for the KZN Chess Trials.

“I started playing chess when I was in Grade R. It’s something I learnt from my brother and dad. Dad is a very good chess player. I also play chess online as part of my practice,” said the nine-year-old.

He said he felt proud and happy to have made the KZN trials. “I am proud of my achievement, but I am also a bit nervous. At school, I play with a team. This was the first time I competed by myself,” said Kai.

He won five of the seven games he played and was chosen for the U10 team for the upcoming KZN Trials. Kai said he learnt from the tournament to look around and think properly before making a move.

“That is something I will be applying at the KZN Trials,” he said.
He plays chess with his brother two to three times a week and does chess puzzles online to keep ahead of his game.

Mikayla Morrison

Chelsea Preparatory

Devoted to shooting hoops

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THERE are many things that Mikayla Morrison is good at, however, netball is by far where the majority of her interest lies.

She is currently in Grade Seven at Chelsea Preparatory School, and not only is she good at sport but excels in academics, too.

She is a member of the school service team, the vice-captain of the indoor netball team and is involved in swimming A-squad, water polo, outdoor netball, hockey and road running.

“I love indoor netball because it is a quick game. I enjoy it more than any other sport because most of my friends play it, too, and I get to play with them,” she said.

“I am a member of the Gilbert Starlets outdoor netball team, a development team from Waterloo headed up by Precious Mthembu. The team was invited to participate in a U16 Age Group Netball Tournament, competing against other Durban high Schools. I was awarded the ‘All Stars Goal Shooter’ of the tournament and was awarded ‘Player of the Tournament’,” she added.

Mikayla represents KwaZulu Natal in the U13A Action Netball and U13 Sharks Netball team.  Last year she represented KZN in U12A Action Netball, U12 Sharks Netball and U13A Water Polo.

“I am also a member of the school’s U13 netball team. We played in the KZN U13 Age Group Netball Championship, which consisted of a number of tournaments to lead up to the championship. Our team won the district tournament and played in the final round, the KZN Championship.

“We won the championship and will now tour to Johannesburg to represent KwaZulu-Natal at the South African Schools Netball National Schools Championships in August,” added Mikayla.
Her favourite subject is history, and when she completes school, Mikayla would like to become a teacher and South African netball player.

Yuvti Jagdaw

Crawford College International

Confidence through the arts

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THE performing arts is Yuvti Jagdaw’s passion. Her accolades include a special award, after being placed in the top three of the junior photogenic category at The Stars Of The Universe International performing arts competition.

Her submission included a dramatic monologue performance, two artistic photographs and a catalogue modelling shoot. The Crawford College International La Lucia was awarded provincial colours in performing arts last year and in January 2023 she achieved South African colours in Performing Arts.

Her journey in competitive performance began in 2022 at the Eisteddfod for Drama,dance, art and modelling held at Northwood School where she was awarded double gold for her dramatic monologue and, two platinum awards for photography.
“I’ve always been an introvert. My mom and dad encouraged me to try out drama last year. I chose drama and dance and it’s given me my own voice and boosted my confidence,” said Yuvti.

“I was privileged to be cast at our schools grand stage production – Crawfordia, this year,” she said. Yuvti is a self- confessed book addict, who has a keen eye for photography. She enhances her photography skills with a Nikon twin lens camera and her iPhone.

High School June

Megan Stringer

Our Lady of Fatima

Megan lifts SA title

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IT has been an incredible year in the sport of powerlifting for Our Lady of Fatima Dominican Convent School (DCS) learner Megan Stringer.

Megan recently powered her way to the national title at the SA Powerlifting Championships in Potchefstroom.

The 18-year-old, who competes in the Under-57kg, sub-junior category, also broke a national record in the squat at the champs.

Powerlifting is a strength-based sport that consists of three barbell lifts: squat, bench press and the deadlift, and the heaviest lifts of each discipline are added to the total competitor’s tally (from three attempts in each discipline)

Incredibly, the Our Lady of Fatima Grade 12 learner’s highest weight totals were 115kg in the deadlift, 57.5kg in the bench press and 115kg in the squat, giving her a grand total of 287.5kg.

“I was really pleased with my performances at the championships. Going to Potchefstroom, one of my goals was to break the squat record, which I did, and I also wanted to beat my personal bests, but that didn’t happen sadly. It has, however, given me future goals and the confidence to lift heavier,” she explained.

“At school, everyone had their sports, be it hockey or swimming or netball, and when I discovered powerlifting, I truly found the thing I was passionate about. I never had a sport I loved so much, and it has given me so much joy since I started just over two years ago,” she said.

Megan’s performances have seen her being invited to Asia Africa Powerlifting Champs, the World Champs in Romania and the All Africa Champs in Algeria, however, all of the competitions coincide with exams and winter school.

Siyanda Nkosi

Northwood School

SA Sevens action for Siyanda

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FOR any athlete, no matter the sport, representing their country at an international tournament is one of the highest honours.

That is true for Northwood School’s Siyanda Nkosi who has been selected for the South African U18A Sevens Rugby Team to compete at this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Games have traditionally taken place every four years with the first event being hosted in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2000.

Siyanda, who is in Grade 11, said he is looking forward to playing in the green-and-gold of South Africa and doing the best for the team.

“This has all felt a little surreal. Last year, I made the KZN U17 Sevens Team, and we went on a tour where this SA team was selected. At first, I didn’t believe it when my name was called out as it was my first time playing for a provincial team. I’m immensely proud, and I feel this selection is something I’ve worked hard for, and achieving it is so overwhelming. It has always been a dream to make an SA team,” he said.

The talented fullback also plays first-team rugby in 15s and Sevens for his school.

“I started playing rugby in Grade Five in Vryheid. At first, I didn’t like it because they pitted us against the bigger grades, and they were quite physical with the tackles. But I persevered and came back the next year to try again, and I just got better and better. It wasn’t until I joined Northwood School in 2020 that rugby became my sport of choice. My coaches have just been phenomenal in their support and giving me the belief to reach higher,” he explained.

Aside from rugby, Siyanda has also shown his fleet-of-foot skills on the basketball court for the school.

Takudzwa Chipanda

Danville Park Girls

Takudzwa nets her goals

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HAVING represented KwaZulu-Natal at the Action Netball Inter-provincial Tournament (IPT) earlier this year, Danville Park Girls’ High School learner Takudzwa Chipanda is ready for her next challenge, the Outdoor Netball IPT which gets underway later this month.

The 15-year-old has had a promising start to the year, having been selected for both the KZN U16 outdoor and indoor netball teams.

She also plays first-team netball for her school, and at the All Girls’ Festival in Bloemfontein recently, Takudzwa was awarded the trophy for the Best Mid-Court player of the festival.

“I’m a big believer in God having a plan for me, and everything has fallen into place this year. It is my first time representing KZN in both the indoor and outdoor team, and it is such an honour to have been chosen. I do see it as a stepping stone as I see netball in my future. For the IPT at the end of this month, I’m looking forward to doing my best for the team and hopefully will earn the Player of the Tournament prize,” she said.

Takudzwa, who plays centre and wing attack, said she owes her success to her mother and netball coach and former Protea star, Precious Mthembu.

“Miss Mthembu is such an amazing person to be around. She is a legend and one of my idols, and she’s really helped me grow and opened up opportunities I never thought possible. I play for her Gilbert Stars netball team which is such an honour. My netball journey I owe to my mom. She signed me up to play in Grade Two, and her support has been immense. My mom is everything to me, and I know she’s sacrificed so much for me, and I hope to repay that by doing the best I can for any team I represent,” she said.

Outside of netball, Takudzwa is also involved in drama and Amagugu drumming at school.

Junior & Senior Primary May

Cameron White

Chelsea Preparatory School

Meet Cameron the budding cricket star

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SPORT is really a passion for Chelsea Preparatory School’s Cameron White who has been chosen as a SPAR star.

He is currently in Grade Seven, and apart from his sporting achievements, he also obtains good academic results..

Cameron is a member of the school’s Sound Service Team where he operates and is responsible for setting up expensive sound equipment for various functions.

“I am also the school’s cricket captain, a member of the Swimming B Squad and reserve for the A Squad, a first-team tennis player, a first-team hockey player, first team rugby player, and I enjoy road running, as well,” said Cameron.

He has played at first team level for cricket and hockey since Grade Five.

Out of school, he represents the KZN team for hockey. Last year, he represented KZN for cricket and hockey and also played for the
North Durban Central Cricket team.

“I love listening to music, playing cricket in my garden. and when time allows, chilling,” he said.

Jordyn Naidoo

Crawford International

Jordyn loves to tee off

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JORDYN Naidoo, an 11-year-old in Grade Six at Crawford International Preparatory La Lucia, is a keen golfer.

She has been chosen as this month’s SPAR Star.

“I started playing golf last year. My dad is also a golfer, and we have great bonding time on the course. I started competing in March,” said Jordyn.

Jordyn participates in monthly games hosted by South African Kids Golf in and around Durban.

“We meet socially every month and get placed into various age categories so we can play against each other, ” she said.

Jordyn has played at the Royal Country Club Durban, Zimbali Country Club and Kloof Country Club. She is a member at Mt Edgecombe Country Club.

“My dad always wanted me to play golf with him, so I decided to try it out and experience the sport for myself. It turned out that I really love golf. It has taught me a lot of discipline,” she said.

Her achievements to date are second place at Kloof Country Club, third place at Zimbali Country Club and second place at Royal Country Club in the SA Kids Golf Junior Open.

“I don’t have a handicap yet, but I am going to be scored on one soon,” said Jordyn.

She added that she would possibly think of playing golf professionally once she completes school. Her next goal is to place first overall in a competition.

“I practise twice a week. Golf has taught me discipline and concentration,” she added.

Other than golf, Jordyn also enjoys netball, dance, art, playing piano and spending time with her pet, Levi.

“I am an only child so Levi is like a sibling to me. He is a Jack Russell-cross-terrier – my parents got him for me during lockdown. When my parents had Covid and had to isolate, Levi kept me company,” she said.

Sethu Sifunda

Glenashley Preparatory

Sethu is a rising soccer star

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SETHU Sifunda said soccer was a sport she always wanted to play but was only motivated to do so when a friend of hers persuaded her to join a team.

The Grade Seven learner at Glenashley Preparatory School has been selected for the KZN U13 Girls’ Soccer team who are going to play in the National Championships in Limpopo in August this year.

Sethu attended the U13 trials at Highbury last week, where 30 girls – two teams – were selected for nationals.

“Athletics has always been my passion, but I’ve wanted to play soccer for the longest time. I started playing soccer at the age of 10, and I love it. I play at Redwood United Soccer Academy twice a week, with a league match every Sunday,” she said.

“I have worked hard to make this team, and I am really excited to be sharing this experience with all my friends who also made the cut,” she added.

What she enjoys the most about soccer is that she gets to run a lot. She also enjoys the team spirit.

Apart from soccer and athletics, Sethu enjoys netball, too. She also plays the violin and piano.

“Playing soccer has taught me patience. It’s also taught me to stay fit and to work together with your team while putting your differences aside,” she said.

When she completes schooling, Sethu said she would like to pursue a career in exterior and interior design.

Junior & Senior Primary April

Cyla Goodwin

Hampton’s Primary School

Cyla loves the water and animals

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SWIMMING is at the top of her list of sports, but Cyla Goodwin also loves hockey and netball.

The Grade Seven Hampton’s Primary School learner is this week’s SPAR Star.

“I started swimming when I was in Grade Four and have loved it ever since. Swimming is my passion, and I only want to get better at it,” she said.

It was when Cyla started competing in galas outside of school that she began to flourish at the sport.

“During my first out-of-school gala, I earned first place in all styles except breaststroke because I wasn’t really good at it at the time,” she said.

She said that since then, she has improved drastically in the swimming style.

She has two silver medals for freestyle and one for backstroke to her name and is looking forward to increasing her accolades.

“I was placed third in freestyle at the Hollywoodbets Kingspark Stadium for the KZN swimming trials. I was very proud of myself,” she said.

Cyla’s love for water doesn’t stop there. She loved crayfish diving with her dad, too.

Her favourite things to do are to go on holidays and visit the cats and dogs at the SPCA.

“I love animals. Horses are my favourite. I have done horse riding before but only for fun,” she added.

Her favourite subject is maths because there are so many different aspects to focus on.

Mika Gouws

Chelsea Preparatory School

Clever Mika is such a 'sport'

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MIKA Gouws, currently in Grade Seven at Chelsea Preparatory School is an all-rounder, excelling in academics and sport.

She achieved academic merit at the end of last year with an aggregate of 90%.

This year, Mika is the chairperson of the Executive Council which represents Chelsea Prep pupils and Grade Seven Service Teams at bi-termly meetings, addressing any concerns or proposed service projects for the year.

She is also the leader of the Early Act Service Team which focuses on charity and on giving back.

Mika is just as brilliant on the sports field and is captain of action netball. She also plays hockey, indoor hockey, tennis and participates in road running.

“I also play indoor netball out of school. Our team won silver at the recent interprovincial championships,” she said.

“I’ll be attending trials for outdoor netball this year, and I am looking forward to it,” added Mika.

She and the Chelsea Netball Team will be attending the Netball World Cup, which will be hosted in Cape Town in July this year.

“I can’t wait to watch the games and play in the matches against a few Cape Town schools,” she added.

Her other interests in school are speech and drama and public speaking, and when she’s not studying or playing sport, Mika loves spending time with her family, baking, watching movies and playing online games with her friends. She also enjoys hanging out with her friends.

High School April

Casey Jones

Parkhill Secondary School

Casey aims for the top

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A KEY focus point of Parkhill Secondary School learner Casey Jones’ life has been her love of academics.

At the end of last year, the 17-year-old was named the Dux at the school’s senior academics awards that recognise the achievements of its learners in 2022.

Incredibly, the matriculant has been the top achiever at both primary and high school since Grade One, being named Dux every year.

Speaking on her achievements, Casey cited the support of her family as one of the main reasons for her success.

“My dad is an educator, and both he and my mother have always supported me. It really takes the stress off my shoulders because I know they are backing and motivating me. They are always there for me, and that is a massive relief. I would say my goal last year was to be named the Dux, and I’m steadily working towards the goal of trying to be named the Dux for this year,” she said.

Casey, who is also a head prefect, said her favourite subjects are business studies, economics and accounting.

“My hope is to serve as an inspiration to my fellow peers and learners, including my younger sister, who was also named the Dux last year in Grade Seven,” she said.

She is also part of the National Hunting and Shooting Association.

Hlako Mphati

Reddam House Umhlanga

Hlako tackles his goals

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PLAYING rugby for the Springboks is something Reddam House Umhlanga learner Hlako Mphati sees in his future.

In December last year, the Grade 12 learner was chosen to represent the Odyssey Invitational rugby team that played in the World Schools’ Rugby Tournament held in Thailand.

Hlako, who played on the wing, scored two tries for his team and helped his team win the Shield division of the tournament.

The annual tournament featured the top schools from South Africa, Wales, New Zealand and England, to name a few.

“That was my first time playing rugby overseas. Being able to play with other players from around the world was a huge eye-opener and offered me invaluable insight into growing my game. It was such an honour and a wonderful platform for me to express myself,” he said.

The talented youngster also plays for the school’s first team and said he hopes to inspire other youngsters to dream big.

“I do see rugby in my future. My goal is to play professionally and one day represent the Springboks. I also hope I can serve as an inspiration to my fellow learners and make them proud. I’ve also had the full backing of my family who’ve always supported my dream and encouraged me to dream big and work hard,” he said.

Hlako added that his biggest rugby inspiration is Springbok winger and World Cup winner, Cheslin Kolbe.

“For me, he is a force to be reckoned with on any rugby field. He has shown that it isn’t necessarily about being the biggest but having the biggest heart on the field. I hope to emulate him because of his versatility and play style,” he said.

Hlako has been offered a scholarship to join Castell Howell in Wales next year.

Jake Jones

Northwood School

Jake excels at lifesaving champs

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AS someone who loves spending time on the beach, it stands to reckon that Northwood School learner Jake Jones would gravitate towards sports like lifesaving and surfing.

The Grade Eight learner has had a busy few weeks having competed in the KZN Nipper Champs in Durban and the SA Nipper Champs in Gqeberha.

Jake, who represents the Marine Surf Lifesaving Club, performed admirably at both the champs and particularly excelled at the KZN champs.

The 13-year-old won the coveted Iron Nipper Award at the KZN Nipper Champs and also won two gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

At the SA champs, Jake did well in the surf swim, coming in fourth and seventh in Iron Nipper in the U14 age category.

“This year, I’ve had my best performances so far in lifesaving. I competed at last year’s KZN champs, but I didn’t medal at all. I think the difference is this year I’ve been working and training harder. I’m definitely pushing for a chance to compete at a lifesaving world champs. I just have to be consistent with my training and be determined to reach that goal,” he said.

Jake was introduced to the sport by his mother, Alex, a fellow lifesaver athlete at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club.

“We are a beachy family so I think I naturally gravitated towards watersports. I’ve been surfing since I was three, my sister is also into lifesaving in the Nippers, and my mom competed, as well,” he said.

Aside from lifesaving, Jake is a member of the school’s swimming squad and plays rugby and water polo for the school.

Another feather in his cap is he was recently selected for the KZN Nippers team for the surf inter-provincials in Durban at Addington Beach.

Tessa Heine

Danville Park Girls’ High School

Tessa serves up an ace

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IT has been a triumphant year for Danville Park Girls’ High School learner Tessa Heine in the sport of tennis.

Not only was she was awarded full colours for tennis by her school, but the matriculant was also selected for her first provincial team earlier this year – the U19 KwaZulu-Natal School tennis team.

Tessa recently competed at the Tennis South Africa (TSA) inter-provincial tournament in Pretoria.

While an ankle injury curtailed her participation in the tournament, Tessa won her first singles match and her first mixed doubles match at the tournament.

“It was an honour to have been selected for KZN as it was my first inter-provincial tournament. I’ve worked really hard this year, and despite the injury, I did enjoy playing a small part in the tournament,” she said.

Tessa, who started playing tennis at the age of six, cites her grandfather and SA Davis Cup player Bryan Woodroffe as her inspiration.

“Although he passed away before I was born, he is my inspiration for playing the game. He played twice at Wimbledon and was the chairman for the national selection committee. Both my uncles also played competitively, and you could say it is in our blood. I always remember and hope to honour his contribution to the sport. My first introduction to the sport came at the age of six, and I just fell in love with it immediately. I’ve not looked back since,” she said.

Tessa plays and trains at the La Lucia tennis club and is the captain of the school’s tennis team.

In her spare time, she loves crocheting blankets, which are donated to the Domino Foundation for the baby home.

“I started crocheting in Grade Five, and I learned how to do that through YouTube. Some of the blankets I’ve made have been donated through the school who have given them to the Domino Foundation. I’ve already started making another blanket. I feel that if you are in a position to give back, you should – that has been something instilled in me by my family,” she said.

Junior & Senior Primary March

Ashton Isted

Northlands Primary

Ashton is a record-breaker

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AS a sportsman, Northlands Primary School learner Ashton Isted has shown he has skills both in the water and on terra firma.

Not only does he play for the school’s first team in rugby but he also represents the school in water polo and swimming.

Ashton is the vice-captain for his school house, Cato, as well as his class representative. He is the boys’ swimming captain for the school and vice-captain of the U13 water polo team.

In a display of athleticism and his prowess in the pool, he recently broke the Boys Open 50m Freestyle and Boys Open 50m Butterfly at the school’s Championship Gala, both of which were set last year.

In the freestyle race, he set a new record in a time of 29:60, just pipping former Northlands learner Eben Peters, who broke the record in 2022 in a time of 29:84. In the butterfly race, he set a new record time of 31:62, breaking Eben’s record of 33:47, also set last year.

“I was really pleased with my results. I was at the school when the record was broken, and I had set myself the goal of breaking the record and trying to go under 28 seconds for the freestyle. I was also named the Open Champion of the gala which was a huge honour. Swimming is something I’ve always enjoyed, but I started swimming competitively last year. My ultimate goal is to compete internationally and represent South Africa at an Olympic Games or world champs,” he said.

The Grade Seven learner has played an important role in the swimming squad since Grade Three, and his dedication to his sport is commendable.

Ramano Sefehle

Virginia Preparatory

Ramano makes a splash

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IT has been a busy year in the pool for Virginia Preparatory School learner Ramano Sefehle.

This year, Ramano was selected for the Umlazi District Swimming Teams before being chosen for the Provincial School Swimming Trails.

As a result of his performances, the Grade Seven learner has now been selected to represent the province at the SA Junior Swimming Champs.

While he has made a splash outside of school, he has also broken two records at his school’s gala.

“I broke two records, the 50m butterfly and the 50m backstroke. My goal going into the gala was to break a number of records and to break my older brother’s time. While I didn’t achieve all my goals, I was very pleased with my performances. I also feel I could have done better if I hadn’t been sick the week before the gala. My performances have given me the motivation for the upcoming SA Junior Champs,” he said.

The 12-year-old is a member of the Westville Swimming Club and has attributed his achievements to his coach, Petro Nortje.

Ramano looks up to Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic swimmer, and hopes one day to emulate him.

“Swimming is a sport I hope to continue with in high school and beyond. It would mean the world to me to represent South Africa at a global event. I also hope to one day inspire younger kids to keep believing in themselves,” he said.

Ramano is also the captain of the school’s swimming team.

Ziyanda Xala

Chelsea Preparatory

Music man hits the right keys

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ZIYANDA Xala in Grade Seven at Chelsea Preparatory School is an all-rounder.

He achieved an academic merit at the end of last year with an aggregate of 85%.

The SPAR Star is also a member of the school service team which is responsible for promoting all school events and activities.

The team also assists with the smooth running of all functions from creating event adverts, to greeting visitors, to assisting during the event.

When it comes to sport, he is the captain of the tennis team and a member of the under 13B cricket team. Last year, he played hockey and rugby and earned his 500km badge for road running.

When it comes to music, Ziyanda loves playing piano.

“I am a member of the school band. I started playing piano when I was in Grade One. My favourite piece to play is Pink Panther. I really love the piano. For me, the best part is learning how to play new songs,” he said.

In his spare time, he goes ice-skating, plays on the piano at home, goes bodyboarding and plays on his PlayStation.

“I also enjoy playing soccer during school break and watching the first cricket team practise in the early mornings,” he said.

High School March

Slungelo Akeelah Mthethwa

Northlands Girls’ High

Crowning moment for teen

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A DREAM come true was how Northlands Girls’ High School learner Slungelo Akeelah Mthethwa described her being crowned Miss Pre-Teen Charm South Africa.

Akeelah was crowned the winner at a glittering finale at Sibaya Casino recently.

The Grade Nine learner has the chance to now represent her country at the Miss Pre-Teen Charm International which will be hosted in Venezuela later this year.

The teenager, who is involved in a number of charitable programmes outside of school, says the pageantry competition has opened up doors for her.

“I’m very proud to be crowned the winner of Miss Pre-Teen Charm. This has been a wonderful journey for me, and I’ve grown as a young woman serving her community. One of the things that drew me into the competition was that it offered me a platform to give back to the community. I’m involved in a sandwich drive where I make sandwiches and hand them out to homeless people in the Morningside area.

“I’m also involved in various other charitable initiatives and outreaches which has given me so much purpose. This year, I had the opportunity to speak at my primary school, Imbaliyamazulu Primary School in Inanda Newtown C. I spoke to the younger girls about menstrual health, and I handed out sanitary pads, and some schools shoes and chocolate to the learners and staff. That was a huge privilege,” she said.

Akeelah added that if you are in a position where you can help others, you should do it.

Nqubeko Langa

Avoca Secondary

What a sprinter!

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A TALENTED learner from Avoca Secondary has achieved a phenomenal time around the field track which has gotten people talking.

Nqubeko Langa, a 14-year-old learner in Grade Nine recently won the KZN Athletics Championships in the 400m U16 track-and-field event.

The KZN Athletics Championships were held at the Msuznduzi Athletics Stadium on Saturday, March 11.
What a sprinter!

Nqubeko completed the 400m sprint in a whopping 54.03 seconds, which means he will now represent his province at the National Championships in Germiston in April.

“I feel great. I just missed qualifying for the nationals, but it has motivated me to do better. I am really looking forward to it,” he said.

Nqubeko started running at the age of 11 when he was in primary school. He recalls doing well in the sport and remembers his first events being the 100m and 200m races.

“I did pretty well in primary school. It was when I got to high school that athletics became bit of a challenge. There’s more competition here and more talent to compete against,” he said.

Nqubeko trains with Apsire Athletics Academy where he says he has learnt a lot from his coach and other sporting friends.

“I love running because it gives me a sense of freedom and helps me forget about the everyday stresses of life, even if it’s just for that moment. I also love the respect I have gained, as a runner, from my athletics club,” he added.

Shirees Pretorius

Durban North College

Shirees nets KZN spot

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FOR Durban North College learner Shirees Pretorius, the pinnacle of her sport, netball, is to represent the SPAR Proteas team.

She will be one of the passionate supporters of the Team SA for the Netball World Cup which takes place later this year in Cape Town and hopes to one day be given the opportunity to represent her country.

The 17-year-old is well on her way to reaching that goal, having recently been selected for the KZN U19A action netball team.

This is her fifth time representing the province across various age groups in action netball.

“This year, we are travelling to Edenvale in Gauteng for the inter-provincial tournament (IPT). The good thing is we’ve been training since last year, so we know each other very well. As a team, we’ve really gelled. My goal at the tournament is to go out on the court and give the best performance I can give for the team. It is also an honour having the chance to represent my province,” she said.

Shirees, who can play in any mid-court position, says she looks up to former Protea netball player, Precious Mthembu.

The matriculant currently represents the Just Skills Netball Club and trains between two and three times a week.

She added that the support of her family has been one of the pillars of strength she draws on through any challenge.

“Their support means the world to me. Without them, none of this would be possible. My mom, dad and younger brother have always believed in me and given me the confidence to reach for the stars,” she said.

Junior & Senior Primary February

Cassidy Wilson

Hamptons Primary

Swimming her way to the top

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THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD Cassidy Wilson loves the water and has been chosen as a SPAR Star.

The Hamptons Primary learner started swimming at the age of one, but it was only when she participated in her first swimming gala in Grade One that she knew she wanted to take her talent further.

“Last year, I went to the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Schools Sports Association Championship (KZNCSSA) in Johannesburg where I went against other provinces. I competed in breaststroke and freestyle and received two gold, one silver and one bronze medal,” she said.

She also recently participated in the Umlazi District Trials where she made the swimming team for breast stroke and freestyle.

In the North Durban KZN trials, held in Westville, Cassidy finished second in the 100m freestyle.
Her other results were as follows: 50m breaststroke – second; 50m freestyle – second; 50m backstroke – second.

When asked about the overall experience, she said it was scary as she competed against older and more experienced girls.

“What I love about swimming, though, is that it relaxes me,” she said. Cassidy also enjoys netball, but swimming is her main focus.
“I would like to swim professionally one day and also become a marine biologist. I love the ocean,” she added.

Cassidy trains three times a week with the school and is looking for a swim school to join out of school soon.

Mikaela Russell

Chelsea Preparatory School

Mikaela is an all-rounder

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MIKAELA Russell, a Grade Seven Chelsea Preparatory School learner excels in everything she puts her mind to.

Not only does she do well academically, she is also a member of the school’s EarlyAct Team which focuses on charity and giving back to the community.

The SPAR Star has also participated in the Speech and Drama Festival in 2022, but where Mikaela really shines is on the sportsfield, in hockey to be precise.

At school, she plays action netball, netball, hockey, tennis and water polo. She is also a member of the A-squad swimming. She was awarded the Victrix Ludorum at the recent Chelsea Championship Gala.

Mikaela’s out-of-school achievements are also to be bragged about. She has been selected and plays for the following KZN teams: action netball, hockey, netball and water polo.

“I recently went to Pretoria to participate in the U13 team at the Champ of Champs FIH Indoor Hockey tournament and watched our South African teams play at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup,” she said.

“The champs were supposed to have been played last year but were pushed over to this year. It was a very exciting experience overall to play against some of the best teams. The cherry on top was that we won. We played against six teams, and we won. It was amazing,” said Mikaela.

“It was also exciting to watch the South African team play and go through to the semi-finals. It was very motivating. My parents have always told me that although sport is competitive, the most important thing is that I try my hardest and that I enjoy it,” she said.

Ntandwenhle Khuzwayo

Crawford International La Lucia

Fashion and beauty must have a purpose

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NTANDWENHLE Khuzwayo was made for the catwalk although she didn’t realise it at first.

The Grade Six learner, who attends Crawford International La Lucia Preparatory, is this month’s SPAR Star.

“I started modelling at school when I was in Grade Two. I decided to turn it up a notch and join an agency. From there, I started pageantry because I needed to boost my confidence. I wasn’t talkative, and I used to stutter. Others would make fun of me, so I wasn’t very self-confident,” she said.

As Ntandwenhle became more involved in modelling, she started to gain confidence and to socialise more.

It was through pageantry that she discovered that she had a passion for animals. She has her own drive called Project Paws where she makes and sells scrunchies for R20 each.

She uses the proceeds to purchase food and supplies which are donated to the Durban and Coast SPCA.

“I entered my first pageant in 2022. I was so nervous that I tripped and fell on stage, but I just kept going,” she said.

That didn’t stop Ntandwenhle. She gained experience and entered the next pageant in December 2022 where she was second princess. She also entered the Miss Pre-Teen Universe where she was in the top six.

“Entering these pageants has made me realise that not everything in life is about being perfect. It’s about being who you are and giving back to the community,” she said.

She is now a finalist in the Miss Global Princess pageant and can’t wait for the event in Johannesburg in April.

Ntandwenhle also loves modern and hip-hop dancing, fashion designing, swimming and netball.

Tyhise Butt

Glenashley Preparatory

Tyhise loves 'horsing' around

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IT seems like showjumping comes naturally to Tyhise Butt, a Grade Seven learner at Glenashley Preparatory School.

She competed in the recent SANESA championships for the first time and was placed first in the first and second dressage test. Tyhise placed second in the showjumping main arena category and has been chosen as a SPAR Star of the month.

“I am proud of my achievements, especially since it was my first show. I rode a leased horse from Shortlands Stables. His name was Sandros Pride,” she said.

Tyhise started horse riding about four years ago after watching a movie called Free Reign.

“I have only been riding for four years. After watching the movie, I asked my mom if I could start horse riding. My mom has a lot of experience with horses and horse riding from a young age. We then started looking for schools for me to join,” she said.

When it comes to showjumping, Tyhise had only ever jumped in lessons which she started about two years ago.

She participated in one internal show and only in the dressage category.

“I love everything that has to do with horses. I spend my weekends at the stables with Sandros. We have really bonded. He is such a beautiful horse,” she said.

Apart from horse riding, Tyhise is also a very good swimmer and ballet dancer.

High School February

Ava Moore

Our Lady of Fatima

Ava runs the right path

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OUR Lady of Fatima Dominican Convent School learner Ava Moore is quietly making a name for herself in the sport of running.

Not only does the Grade Nine learner take part in athletics and cross country for her school, but she also competes in triathlons and duathlons.

In January this year, Ava came first in the U15 category at the KwaZulu-Natal Triathlons Championships, which means she has qualified for the SA Triathlon Championships.

If that wasn’t enough, the talented runner also won silver medals in 2021 and 2022 in her age category for the SA Duathlon Championships.

She has also won the DHS Old Boys’ Time Trial League for the juniors.

“I’ve always enjoyed running, but my coach, Justin Hand, has really helped me grow and develop from a racing perspective. I started competing in triathlon events just a little over a year ago, and I’ve loved every moment of it. I competed at my first SA Triathlon Championships last year where I finished seventh in the U15 category. I was very proud of that achievement.

“My long-term goal is to represent South Africa in triathlon and compete on a world stage. I’ve found through my training that I’ve improved in other running disciplines, which has been great. I’ve also enjoyed the social aspect of it,” she said.

Dhilan Govender

Northwood School

Dhilan makes a splash for SA

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WITH aspirations of representing South Africa at a Commonwealth Games or the Olympics, Northwood School learner Dhilan Govender hopes to keep reaching new heights.

He recently represented South Africa at the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games in Malawi where he took part in several races and achieved his personal best in most of his events.

He took part in the 50m breaststroke, 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 400m freestyle and 200m breaststroke.

“While I didn’t medal, the whole competition was a great experience. It definitely was a huge learning curve and a massive honour being able to wear the green-and-gold and represent my country. I’ve previously represented South Africa at two open-water champs – one in Slovenia and one in Zambia – but this was my first time representing South Africa in pool events.

“I hope to use this experience, and the fact that I recorded my personal best times, as a stepping stone for bigger things. The ultimate goal for me would be to represent my country at a Commonwealth Games or Olympic Games. I think my preference has shifted from open-water swimming to pool events as they are better suited for my swimming style. I prefer sprinting to long-distance,” he said.

The Grade 12 learner also recently completed his 11th aQuellé Midmar Mile.

Maya Patel

Redwood College

Maya serves as inspiration for her school

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REDWOOD College La Lucia learner Maya Patel said she hopes to serve as an inspiration to other visually impaired people to show they can do anything if they set their minds to it.

The Grade 10 learner was recently recognised by her school at the senior academics and sports awards which recognised the achievements of its learners in 2022.

Maya was awarded the Principal’s Award and also given an award for Outstanding Sportsmanship.

“This means I’ve worked hard at my academics and sports. I not only took part in the athletics day but also swam at the school gala. I’ve even competed in cross country with the help of a guide. I was honoured and surprised to be recognised by the school. I truly didn’t expect our principal, Mr [Bjorn] Teunissen, to call my name. One of the most special feelings was one of my certificates was done in Braille which was such a lovely gesture.

“My fellow learners and staff at the school have been so supportive of me, and that has definitely helped me reach my goals,” she said. “I truly hope I can inspire others like me and show that any person with a visual impairment can do it.”

Sahana Sabarirajan

Danville Park Girls’ High School

No debate about it for Sahana

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IN a short space of time, Danville Park Girls’ High School’s Sahana Sabarirajan has showcased her determined debating style which has seen her earn a number of accolades.

The Grade Ten learner has won a number of Best Speaker awards, including at the UKZN Schools Debating Championships, in the junior division, and the Durban Coastal Debating League.

She recently made it into the World Schools Debating League, an application that alone took six gruelling hours filled with research and analysis.

Sahana was also awarded the school’s Debating Trophy, which is awarded to a learner who has been a consistent debater and who has shown dedication and ambition at new levels.

“I’ve always loved public speaking, and last year, I decided to expand my horizons by doing a few new extra-curriculars. I took up debating and found that I have a passion for it as I like to express myself. The environment I found myself in was incredibly supportive with the Danville team and our teacher, Mrs Carragher. They were always willing to help us learn and grow,” she said.

Speaking on her achievement of being selected for the trial process for the World Schools Debating League, Sahana said, “The whole process was quite long and gruelling, but the experience was amazing. While I didn’t make the final team, it was great to have the opportunity to interact with and debate with national-level debaters,” she said.

Thank you for voting for your SPAR Superstar and for giving them a chance to win a SPAR Voucher

Voting for the third quarterly winners closes on November 09 2023. One junior/senior primary winner and one high school winner will be chosen based on the number of votes. Maximum of one vote per person. Look out for the SPAR Superstar winners in the Northglen News November 24th edition.

 

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