Bongile Mfunelwa and Awonke Tokwe travelled to Hilton last week for the Sunfoil Township and Rural Cricket Development Festival.
Despite having to endure an arduous 20-hour bus trip from their home town of Khayelitsha to KZN, they arrived in the heart of the Midlands beaming from ear-to-ear.
This was another opportunity for these bright young stars to dazzle on the cricket pitch in the colours of the Western Province Rural outfit.
Mfunelwa and Tokwe come from Impendulo Primary and Siphamandla High respectively. They were introduced to the sport after the Gary Kirsten Foundation built cricket facilities at their schools.
They quickly fell in love with the game and are now proud products of Gary Kirsten Cricket’s Township Cricket Development programme.
Their hard graft on the artificial pitches installed at their school is now starting to bear fruit.
Mfunelwa is an enterprising wicket-keeper batsman who put in a number of eye catching performances throughout the week in the under-15 division.
He signed off with a splendid knock of 70* of 99 balls against Northern Cape on the final day of the tournament.
His handy glove work also saw him claim a few catches behind the stumps.
Another feather in the cap of the GKF was the selection of coach, Sivuyile Mfunelwa to head up the under-15 side.
He was impressed by Bongile’s contribution and attitude on the tour.
“Bongile is a talented young boy who is learning to cope with top junior cricket quickly,” Mfunelwa said.
Last season he made the Western Province under-13 side and has been selected to attend Rondebosch Boys High next year.
“He has a big future ahead of him and has the potential to emerge from the township as a star,” Mfunelwa said.
“His progress inspires many other kids in Khayelitsha,” he added.
Tokwe is a lanky, right-arm fast bowler who has come on in leaps and bounds since taking up the sport in 2016.
He bagged five wickets from four matches in his debut tour for the under-19 side.
“This was a big learning experience for Awonke. I think he did quite well and if he keeps working hard, he will have another crack at the tournament next year,” Mfunelwa said.
Mfunelwa who is a CSA Level I coach continues to grow in various mentoring roles.
Last year he spent three months in Mauritius working on a GKC development porgramme on the island.
“The GKC has opened doors for us. It is about creating opportunity and helping individuals to reach their potential. Bongile and Awonke are testament to that,” Mfunelwa concluded
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