Northwood 1st XV captain Sasko Ndlovu has enjoyed a standout season, culminating in selection for the KZN U18 Craven Week and SA Schools squads.
NDLOVU ON …
NORTHWOOD’S 2019 SEASON
‘This season has been phenomenal. We have earned a lot of respect, not just from our school but from the whole of the Durban North community. Without a doubt 2019 is the best year in the history of Northwood rugby. We beat Maritzburg College at [their home field] Goldstone’s and some of the other traditional big rugby schools.
CAPTAINING NORTHWOOD 1st XV
‘To have been the captain meant the world to me. One of my deepest fears this year was to be just another captain. I wanted to make an impact. I wanted the name Sasko and the No 7 jersey to have stood for something. Never giving up is the difference between being a champion and a quitter. There is no reward if you give in; you will always be asking yourself, “Why did I start?”’
HOW HE STARTED PLAYING RUGBY
‘A friend of mine introduced me to rugby because he thought I had the right build for it, but all I cared about at that time was soccer and my books. After the soccer season finished I went for a rugby practice and remember being told to catch the ball and run straight and that nobody would catch me. Weeks went past and, surprisingly, I was picked for my primary school’s first team at No 8. In my Grade 7 year I played at outside centre for my school, but wing for the KZN U13B side.
BEING SELECTED FOR THE KZN U18 CRAVEN WEEK SQUAD
‘It is an amazing feeling. Now I can certainly say that when prayers go up, blessings come down. This selection means that I have the responsibility to represent my province and showcase the bit of rugby knowledge I have. What excites me most is I have a coach who 100% believes this year we have the capability to get to the final. I have been privileged enough to be appointed captain, so this gives me a better chance of getting bursaries so I can also further my studies.’
HOW HE HAS BALANCED ACADEMICS AND SPORT
‘People say the idea is to keep the main thing the main thing, which is obviously the books. It has been really tough with the workload in matric and with the leadership roles at school and the boarding establishment. This year has taught me a lot in terms of sacrificing a bit of my social life and prioritising.’
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HIM
– Born in Empangeni and grew up in Eshowe.
– Attended Dannhauser Primary School from Grade 4 to Grade 7.
– Has four siblings (two older brothers, an older sister and a younger brother).
– Head boy of one of the Northwood boarding houses and deputy head boy of the school.
– Captained the Northwood 1st XV, Sevens and athletics teams.
– Has played U17 Sevens for the KZN Interprovincial Sevens team.
– His rugby heroes are Siya Kolisi and Ardie Savea.
Other teams: KZN U13 Sevens, KZN U17 Sevens, KZN U18
GRANT BASHFORD (NORTHWOOD)
‘Sasko has been a phenomenal leader of the Northwood 1st XV this season and has been rewarded with Craven Week selection and captaincy. He stood out in every performance with his aggressive defense and strong ball-carrying ability. His phenomenal work ethic saw him first in the gym at 5am every morning which transferred into his work rate on the field. He is a unique human being and will probably end up as president if he doesn’t make it in rugby.’