By Arthur Chatora
The Rhodes University Basketball Club has added a new dimension to its women’s team by incorporating players from the local township into the side.
This programme gives the new players the opportunity to play in the Eastern Province League.According to Tichaona Kuwana, the club’s assistant media repre-sentative, “This comes as a wel-come development and will boost the team’s performance.”
The Rhodes women’s team is currently training with, Nomphelo Stuurman and Aluta Ngqoyiya, two women from the Joza township.Commenting on her inclusion in the Rhodes team, Stuurman said she is happy to have the opportu-nity to train and play for Rhodes as the university is part of competitive leagues.
The team competes in the Eastern Province and Campus Basketball Leagues.Stuurman and Ngqoyiya, who also play for Makana Spears, a town-ship-based basketball team, agree that there is a lot of talent in Joza. However, the absence of a league disadvantages the development of basketball in the township.Since Makana Spears is the only team in the township, they usu-ally play against local high school teams.
Ngqoyiya is not new to com-petitive basketball and last year she played for a Port Elizabeth team, the Comets.Stuurman and Ngqoyiya are confi-dent they will make it into the first team considering they are full time-basketball players. In Joza, they train at Extension 6 Indoors Sports Centre.Kuwana believes that Ngqoyiya’s experience will boost the team’s performance at provincial level.
Trish Maliro, chairperson of the basketball club, said this is not their only initiative. The society’s development officers are putting together a proposal for the sports council on their plans for this year. “The club has also established connections with the Raphael Centre as well as the Amasango centre for underprivileged children and we intend to continue building ties with these two charities,” said Maliro.
Through these ventures the club hopes to maintain its close ties with the community and continue to hold coaching clinics in the township schools.