Panashe shines at world champs

At the age of 15, Panashe Sithole of St Mary's School Waverly is the number one ranked U19 girls' squash player in South Africa.

Panashe Sithole of St Mary’s School Waverly was a member of the South Africa squash team that participated in the World Junior Squash Championships in Poland.

The event hosted players from 26 countries.

Although Sithole is only 15 years old, she represented South Africa at U19 level and is the number one player at this level.

Only two junior women were selected to represent South Africa and Sithole was the only player from Gauteng.

At the championships, she played six matches, won three and lost three. Sithole said, “Competition at the tournament was tough because you’re playing against top players from all over the world. World juniors did expose certain areas in my game which I need to work on and competing there was an amazing experience.”

Balancing school and playing sport have not been easy for this young girl and she thanked her parents, coaches and the school for the tremendous support they have given her so far.

Growing up, Sithole never thought she would be a squash player but now she hopes to continue with the sport and play professionally. She also encouraged other girls at the school to continue training hard in sport and not expect results immediately. “I remember when I first started playing squash and I was not getting where I wanted to get to, but I gave myself time and worked hard,” concluded Sithole.

Also read: Initiative adds hope to another young woman

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Nkululeko Zilibokwe

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