LEQELE High School netball coach Munyaradzi Shanduka has hailed the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and the Lepereng Olympafrica Centre for offering a Keba Mbaye Scholarship to his player, Matšeliso Toloane, which helped fund her studies.
The Keba Mbaye Scholarship is offered by the Keba Mbaye Foundation through the assistance of the International Olympafrica Foundation to children with exceptional academic and sports performance.
The scholarship seeks to encourage balance between sports and academic excellence and rid the misconception that students with incomparable talent in sports are usually mediocre.
Toloane was enrolled for the scholarship in 2016 while in her Form C. The facility ran for three years until she completed her high school studies last year. She is now waiting to commence her media studies course at the Limkokwing University of Technology.
She received US$860 (M12 300) annually.
She has also been an important member of Shanduka’s which has won different cups locally including the National Netball League last year.
At the scholarship closing ceremony in Maseru on Monday, Shanduka said the sponsorship came in handy for Matšeliso as she comes from a less privileged family.
“When I first heard about this scholarship, I was skeptical and became reluctant when I was asked to prepare Matšeliso’s curriculum vitae so that we could apply for her,” Shanduka said.
“However, the Leqele High School principal pushed me to give it a try and fortunately, we succeeded.
“I researched to see if it was authentic and I am happy that the scholarship helped her immensely as she was struggling but managed to finish her studies without any worries.’
He said Matšeliso has never disappointed as she kept on exceling in her studies and also on the court.
“Upon award of this scholarship in 2016, Matšeliso continuously performed to her maximum potential in both spheres.”
Lepereng Olympafrica Centre Coordinator, Khotso Mahloko shared Shanduka’s sentiments and hailed Matšeliso for her achievements.
“Not at one time did she disappoint us since she was enrolled in this scholarship. She always kept performing well even though she was also busy with her activities in sports as she has been in different national teams representing in different competitions in the SADC region.
“The sponsorship was supposed to be once-off but because she kept performing well, the scholarship was renewed and it helped her until she completed her high school studies because she got it while in her Form C, which she passed with a first class.
”We are very proud of her and her achievements and we are also wishing her well in her tertiary studies,” Mahloko said.
Matšeliso was also presented with a laptop computer, which she will use when she start her tertiary studies.
For her part, the athlete expressed gratitude for the assistance.
“I am grateful for the assistance that I got through this scholarship and I am so happy that I was selected as one of the beneficiaries even when there are lot of other students who still need it,” Matšeliso said.