Getting representation right from the kick-off

 

Quotas entered sport because South African teams need to represent the country. It’s a goal that must be achieved, but there’s more than one way to get there. And Anele Mahaye knows that it requires patience.

Hailing from eSikhaleni in KwaZulu-Natal, Mahaye has been playing rugby for as long as our nation has been democratic. Powerful in stature, he grew into a solid player and spent some time with The Sharks. But Mahaye has since recognised his true calling within the game he loves. He’s a builder. As coach of the eSikhaleni youth team, he is developing the sport in his hometown, from the ground up, and unearthing talented players who would otherwise never realise their potential.

Across sporting codes, the key to representation lies in the grass-roots infrastructure that will give young players the opportunity to flourish. Coaches like Mahaye are crucial to this process. “I’m committed to showcasing the talent of young rugby players from the rural parts of KZN,” he says. Aside from nurturing a diverse crop of potential Springboks, Mahaye’s goal is to use rugby to keep the kids of his area focused on something positive.