The director of the Andrew Mlangeni Golf Development Academy, Mr Rofhiwa Mphaphuli. Photo supplied.
The director of the Andrew Mlangeni Golf Development Academy, Mr Rofhiwa Mphaphuli from Mbilwi, is a golf player and developer.
He said his objective was to promote the sport and unearth talent in the rural areas. Mphaphuli said that the academy’s programme was founded with the motive of making golf more accessible to previously disadvantaged people. He said that via the programme they had been able to produce good golfers.
He said that before the lockdown, they visited young stars from many areas and schools and assigned them a coach who taught them golf basics and they then periodically visited the golf course for practical ball-striking lessons.
“We engaged our retired professionals and pensioner golfers to train juniors at various schools close to the golf course and pay a monthly stipend for their services. Some kids who stay close to a golf course do come to our coach on weekends and receive training at the complex”.
He said that their venture ensured that continuous development and maintenance of effective high-performance programmes took place and that golf structures developed from grass-roots level. “I think the most fortunate thing that we have are various scouts who are part of the organisation. Some of the coaches have interacted with the U/17 players,” he said.
He said the programme provided a platform for rural youths to showcase their talent, but it also encouraged healthy lifestyles and social cohesion.
“They also organise workshops in areas under traditional leadership. This programme plays a huge role in bringing unity between the different young people, because young people can play against each other, which brings peace and harmony. Our icon, Nelson Mandela, taught us that nothing brings people together like sports,” he said.
“I want to encourage young people who are not participating in sport to get involved and work hard to win. I also want to be a good role model to others. I am a firm believer that an active body produces a healthy mind, and in sports I have hope for the future generation of the province,” he said.
"The objective is to contribute, in our small way, to changing lives, especially in our rural, untapped areas," said Mphaphuli.
The only golf course in Vhembe is the one in Louis Trichardt.
Date:08 August 2020 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.