One of the most successful teams, results-wise, at Jeppe so far this year has been the under-16C basketball team.
They haven’t played that many games – not many schools field three teams per age group – but they have won all their matches, and that includes wins over all the other boys schools including Pretoria, St Stithians, KES and St David’s.
The team is captained by Matthew Long and he put their success down to team spirit and playing for each other. “There aren’t too many boys in the team who have ambitions of playing 1st team basketball one day, but we are all committed and we enjoy each other’s company,” he said.
That enjoyment has meant that they have trained twice a week all year, even when they didn’t have a match to prepare for, and there is always a full turnout at every practice.
Basketball isn’t the main sport for any of the players and about three quarters of them are actually committed scholars who take their academics seriously. “We all realise that some exercise and getting out into the fresh air on Saturdays with your team can be good for your schoolwork,” Matthew said.
Matthew plays rugby in the winter, and regards soccer as his main game. He played for the school’s under-15A soccer team last year and also turns out for Bedfordview Country Club.
“I am in the top 10 in my grade for three of my subjects and my aim is to get there with the others as well,” he said. “In the meantime, I am enjoying captaining this team. They are a great group of guys and we are having great fun.”
Their enjoyment is producing results, and proving that at Jeppe sport is not just about the elite teams.