Community sports development coach and mentor Siphelele Mqwashele leads young rugby players from the Eastern Cape by exemplifying that commitment open doors. He teaches the budding sportsmen pivotal life principles through sports. Rural students often don’t get the same opportunities to be transformed by the power of sport as students in affluent urban areas. Maqwashe takes the time to nurture their talent, making a game-changing impact that puts dreams within reach.
He was part of the team that started touch rugby in the Transkei village of Zithulele. They went from losing all their games at the national interprovincial touch tournament in 2012 to winning the tournament in 2017. Maqwashe was subsequently chosen to go learn more about the sport in New Zealand. “I managed to improve my skills and qualify as a level 3 touch rugby referee and could referee at the Touch Rugby World Cup, given the opportunity,” he says.
For Maqwashe, it is imperative to raise the bar for South African touch rugby and nurture a generation that will take it to greater heights. He says that it’s important that he and his peers become purposeful leaders and mentors who are able to make a change and impact other people’s lives through the sport.
His own life has been filled with its fair share of adversity, including a home invasion and jail time. Maqwashe’s experiences have taught him how to be more responsible and stay cognisant of what is right and wrong.