Xolane is on his way to living his dream. Since he was a boy, Xolane had always loved the thrill of football, and even more, the thrill of organising and running a team. He didn’t immediately seize on that passion, however. In his neighbourhood in Thembisa, Xolane was known for the football team he had been coaching since Grade 11, Boys’ Team FC.
After completing his matric, he got a job at OR Tambo International Airport in customer service. The job was good, but the hours were bad, and Boys’ Team FC fell by the wayside. At this point, Xolane’s life took a turn darker. He is reluctant to get into this area of his past, but admits free time at odd hours and bad friends introduced a new lifestyle of illicit substances into his life. Two years after beginning, he had to leave his job, unable to sustain the balance anymore.
He temped at a department store for three months, but afterwards he was back to spending all his days at home. But Xolane was not one to be a victim of his circumstances. He cleaned up and decided to occupy himself with his first love: football. He restarted Boys’ Team FC and began coaching with renewed purpose. It was hard without funding, but the enthusiasm and raw talent of the team allowed them to secure sponsorship from a friend of Xolane’s who ran a timber company. Xolane knew the next step to getting his team taken seriously was to make sure the coach, himself, was taken seriously. Fortunately for him, he soon caught the eye of a Sparrow staff member, Mr Musa. Mr Musa approached him and told him about the sports coaching programme at Sparrow FET College. Xolane took a chance, and he couldn’t be happier. “I am gaining so many opportunities here at Sparrow,” he says. In spite of a rocky start due to lack of finances for travel at the beginning of the programme, he has settled in well at the college, with the help of his dedicated lecturer and support of his fellow students. “I am planning to take part in the Booksmart for Rugby programme before I graduate,” he says. “I am greatly looking forward to that. I’m hoping to transfer the credit I earn here towards a sports diploma at a university, and take my career further.” At 22 years of age, Xolane feels he has already lived a lot, but knows he has a world’s worth of life waiting to be seized ahead of him. “Impossible is nothing,” he says thoughtfully. “In life, we all have dreams. Some things will hold us back, but never think twice about what you want, don’t discourage yourself. It will happen.”
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