Daveyton resident Nsizwa Reginald Mahlangu has been elected as the new chairperson of the Gauteng Handball Association recently.
The 44-year-old has been passionate about handball since he discovered the sport in Mpumalanga when he was still in high school.
He has played handball since the ’90s and has been a coach for over 10 years.
Mahlangu said he loved the sport because it was different and unique. It also involves five sporting codes: soccer, basketball, swimming, volleyball and cricket.
With his new role, he is responsible for planning tournaments, prepare the team, fund-raisers, ensuring the teams have all the needed equipment and developing up-and-coming coaches.
The sports fanatic is also a member of the Gauteng Sports Confederation and the South African Handball Federation (SAHF).
In 1997, when he moved to Daveyton, he founded a handball club at a local primary school.
“I saw the need to start the club because soccer, athletics and netball were the only popular sporting codes played in the township schools at the time,” said Mahlangu.
“I wanted to bring in something different and take the children off the streets.
“Handball quickly gained momentum and grew to other parts of Ekurhuleni, and some of the players were able to travel the world and represent the country through handball.”
Mahlangu said handball is an Olympic sport; however, it is not recognised in South Africa like in other countries.
“There has been a lack of support for the sport but now government is starting to support us. We believe their involvement will also give us an opportunity to participate in the Olympics in four years time,” he said.
“We need the department of arts and culture to support sport, especially in townships schools and universities because most of these learners have potential and there is a bright future ahead.”
The chairperson said he plans to revive the handball sport in Gauteng so it can be recognised again.
“I would like us to have our very own regional and national tournament. Coaches should get a stipend so they can be motivated to continue the work they do in townships, and I want to see the players playing in other African teams.
“That will give others hope when they see success stories. We also need more media coverage, but slowly but surely we are getting there,” said Mahlangu.
When he is not busy with sporting activities, he lends a helping hand to those in need through his soup kitchen in the area.
From July 9 to 12, the Gauteng handball team will take part in the National Junior Championships in Polokwane.
The team needs transportation money, food, uniform and equipment such as balls, bags, nets, gloves, water bottles.