The University of the Western Cape (FNB UWC) has been performing on the field this year with some convincing results both at home and on the road. As much as credit for these performances goes to the players, it is important to look at those working behind the scenes and their contributions to the team.
We spoke to former FNB UWC rugby player Lubabalo Faleni who is now in his first year as the team’s assistant fitness and conditioning coach.
Faleni played for the FNB UWC Varsity Shield team from 2012 to 2016 and shared his experience with us.
“My Varsity Shield experience was one I will never forget,” said Faleni. “Playing in this competition was a great measure for myself as I competed with incredible athletes from various universities around the country.”
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honours student from Port Elizabeth has been working with some of his former teammates as well as a few new players in the squad and revealed that the level of respect they show him as one of the coaches makes his job somewhat challenging yet enjoyable at the same time.
“Being a part of the coaching staff this year has been challenging as I had to gain a different level of respect from the players. It has also been an amazing experience because the boys know that we have a job at hand and they are focused and that makes it a pleasure to work with them,” Faleni revealed.
From being a player last year to working side by side with Western Province rugby legends in Chester Williams and Bolla Conradie, the platform is set for Faleni to garner enough experience and rugby knowledge to take with him when he takes on life beyond UWC.
FNB UWC takes on FNB WSU at the UWC stadium in their semi-final clash in the 2017 Varsity Shield competition on Monday, 27 March.
By Thulani Mkosi