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Gender equity at work

Pictured: Tyra Marasha

Three girls have stepped forward in predominantly boys’ sports in townships. It is not just their participation and success that shines through but their attitude to life and their open embracing of challenges.

The three have become leaders in their sports and schools and their coaches are so proud of them. MasiSports have focused on gender equality and social cohesion this year. This shows the value of sport and life skills in developing character and self-belief in the youth.

Zola Nondwayi, now a Masi High School learner, is paving the way for other girls to join the male-dominated sport of rugby. Her Atlas Foundation coach at Masi HS, Frank Charlie, said: “Zola is special and is a natural leader. Her life story is unfolding in front of our eyes every day. She is remarkable in character and ability. She leads the way.” When MasiSports coach Teddy Nyali speaks of her early development at Ukhanyo, he smiles fondly and says, “She was so dedicated, hard-working and courageous. She comes back to Ukhanyo some days to encourage girls to participate.”

Zola says: “Sport has no gender. I am an adventurous person and love the challenge of rugby, especially as it is a male-dominated sport.”

Pictured: Zola Nondwayi

Zintle Dzidzi is making inroads in cricket. She is through to the third round of the under-16 WP trials and has attended the WP nets for over a month. She started her cricket life at Ukhanyo Primary and has continued her development in Masi High School with MasiSports coach Nolan Koopman. “She has done so well improving every week. She works hard and is a role model for other girls at both Ukhanyo Primary and Masi High School. She is wonderful to work with.”

Zintle says, “Cricket has given me belief in my ability not just as a cricketer but as a person. It has given me so much confidence and I feel that I can really achieve in cricket and life.”

Pictured: Zintle Dzidzi

The delightful Tyra Marasha took up her parents’ challenge when her parents said, ’Cycling is not for girls!’ Tyra set out to show them and has become an excellent cyclist.

Tyra says, ’I love the challenge of cycling and girls can be easily as good as the boys. How exciting is that.” Tyra wants to be on the Cape Town Cycle Tour Masi team!

MasiSports at Ukhanyo encourages girls and boys to play all of the eight sports on offer: also, chess and hip-hop dance. Netball coach Feziwe Payi believes that sport has made dramatic inroads into the gender cohesion in the school. The boys and girls respect and help one another. “Sport has produced this wonderful shift of behaviour,” Fez reflects.