Two Free State students off to Cuba on a scholarship

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bloemfontein - Two young and deserving students from the Free State have jetted off to Cuba on a scholarship to study for a degree in physical education and sports.

Selected from thousands of learners in the province, Thapelo Raymond Taoa, 20, and Usa Isaac Kabelo Mothibi's, 19, will study for five years at an international school in Havana.

"It is a great opportunity and I will use it to the best of ability to finish the course and work in the Free State," said Thapelo, while Kabelo said he was grateful for the opportunity and would show his appreciation by doing well in his studies.

Good matric results and high involvement in different sporting codes made them deserving of the scholarships offered by the Cuban government.

The Cuban government will be responsible for the payment for the studies, provision of accommodation, meals and pocket money, while the provincial Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation will pay for the local air tickets transport.

Bidding the students farewell on Wednesday, Director in the department, Zola Mathae, said: "We are proud that you will be flying the South African flag high in Cuba and representing the Free State province."

She encouraged the learners to plough back to the community and impart their skills to develop the sports fraternity in South Africa on their return.

"The learners were not the first to be awarded a scholarship by the Cuban government," Ms Mathae said, adding that Teboho Thebehae, who is now a Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, was also given a scholarship.

Urging the learners to make South Africa proud by following in Mr Thebehae's footstep, Ms Mathae said the Free State government had great confidence in their ability to pass their studies with flying colours.

She added that this should serve as a great motivation for other learners in disadvantaged communities that their background should not limit their success in life.

"These learners have proved that there are opportunities available from government that they can use to change their lives," she said.

Promising to share their knowledge on their return after completing their studies both learners said they would do the country proud.