Ibanathi Jali is a wonder to watch on the sports field. Either on the running track or the rugby field, Jali is always looking to impress. A specialist at the 800m and 1500m distances on the track, Jali was fifth and fourth respectively in the recent district trials. However, it is on the rugby field where Jali really hopes to excel.
The fullback, who has also been known to play on the wing, has been selected for the Albany team on occasion, and has had a tremendous rugby career with Nombulelo High School in recent years.
When he is not improving himself on the sports fields, Jali enjoys reading. But because of his athletic abilities he dreams of becoming either a professional rugby player or a policeman.
“I love sport, it means a lot to me. It runs in the family as my mom was an E.P. rugby player,” said Jali, who aims to keep up the family tradition.
Coach M. Naika feels that sport encourages discipline and self-worth. Of Jali, he says, “he is a disciplined player who goes the extra mile. He doesn’t depend only on the training at school but trains at home and is one of the fittest learners at the school. He is extremely co-operative.”
His teachers and coaches at Nombulelo have no doubt that, with continued dedication and conditioning, Jali will certainly make the provincial call up.