by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Notably Mthabiseng and Thabisile Mtshoelibe are 20 year old twin sisters, both most realistic with regards to their participation in Port Louis. They are present to learn in their efforts that one day they will achieve their goals of being the leading players in the Rainbow nation.
“We are here in Mauritius to learn from the best players. Our main aim now is to become the best players in South Africa. We have seen in this competition that to be the best, you have to work hard and train hard, you must also be focused.” Thabisile Mtshoelibe
Members of the Logiso Table Tennis Association, they are from Ladysmith in the KwaZulu-Natal province. They were introduced to the sport of table tennis by their elder sister, Thulile Shabangu, a former member of the South African national team.
“We actually started table tennis in 2008 through our sister, who used to travel with the national team to several competitions. She started taking us along with her to training and we fell in love with the game. It was the same year that we competed at the South African National Championship as cadets. Our journey with the National Junior Team started in 2011 when I was part of the team at the African Junior Championships.” Mthabiseng Mtshoelibe
Later, Mthabiseng was selected for the 2016 World Junior Championships in Cape Town; her presence in Mauritius is her first senior outing with the team.
Somewhat differently, Thabisile is more experienced. She was included in the South African Team at the 2014 World Team Championship in Tokyo, Japan. She secured her place in the squad for Mauritius following success at recent trials.
Throughout their fledgling careers, both have received outstanding support from their parents.
“Our parents have been very supportive of our romance with table tennis. Apart from making us to travel across globe, table tennis has taken us away from social vices in our province. It has impacted us positively; we now engage ourselves in meaningful activities.” Mthabiseng Mtshoelibe
Meaningful activities and most meaningful; the say there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; in Port Louis for the young ladies from the Rainbow nation, there was no gold but a bronze medal was a most worthy achievement.
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