Zamandosi Cele, a Durban University of Technology student has been selected as part of the National Women’s Football Team (Banyana Banyana) that will participate in the 2012 London Olympics.
The 21 year old from rural Willowfountain, Pietermaritzburg, is currently doing her second year in Public Management at the DUT Midlands Campus. The defender plays for the Durban Ladies soccer club as well as the DUT Midlands Women’s Football Team.
“I’m really ecstatic about making the cut. I’m happy that I could convince the coaches of my talent and skill,” she said. Cele was however not selected into the national team initially. Her performance during the 2011 University Sport South Africa (USSA) Football National Club Championships in Limpopo while playing for DUT would however turn things to her advantage. Banyana Banyana’s assistant coach spotted her during one of her matches and decided to include her in the national team.
While one may wonder how the student ended up studying PM when she clearly has a passion for sports, she says she wanted to do the course even though she has always loved sports. She started playing soccer around the age of 7. She would tag along when her brother had soccer matches near home. “They would also include me in their games,” she said.
Fathima Haffajee, Director: Student Services & Development at the DUT Midlands Campuses said the Midlands Student Services and Development Department as well as the Midlands Sports Department are very proud of Cele’s achievement, adding that they wish her well at the Olympic Games.
“Zamandosi hails from a highly indigent family yet she has overcome all odds in her quest to be the best. I think we can all be very proud of this exceptional DUT student and sportswoman”, she said.
DUT Sports Officer, Mike Mbatha described Cele as a quite student who is a bit shy but is also a good listener and is extremely dedicated. Asked how Cele is likely to perform during the Olympics, Mbatha said she will keep cool and focused. “She’ll do great. We’re hoping that she won’t sustain any injuries in her matches before the Olympics,” said Mbatha.