TuksSport High School matric class achieves 100% pass rate

Posted on January 25, 2024

TuksSport High School's matric class of 2023 maintained a proud tradition by achieving a 100% pass rate.

It is the 18th time in 21 years the school achieved this milestone. The school principal, Hettie de Villiers, is proud that 83% of the 48 learners obtained a Bachelor's pass this year. In total, they have achieved 38 distinctions and 78 Bs. Eight learners passed with an overall average of 70% and five with a 75% average.

Orefemetse Mapapanyane is TuksSport High School's top student with four distinctions and 3 Bs. Her overall average was 83%. Morapeleng Segwathla got three distinctions. His overall average was 78%.

According to De Villiers, at the beginning of each year, the focus is very much on distinctions and how many the top performers achieve.

"It is easy to forget about those learners who do not make the headlines but who worked hard throughout the year and will continue to do so at university. It is wise to remember that while the final results open the door to tertiary studies or to job opportunities ­– it is what the learners choose to do with those opportunities that will lead to success."

Segwathla is an excellent example of a learner who made the most of his time at TuksSport High School. He comes from a poor background, having grown up in Phomolong. His mom was the sole breadwinner.

His favourite pastime was playing football in the streets. But it changed the day he and a group of friends went to an athletics track and watched people running.

"I was curious as to why they run. So I walked up to them and asked whether I could join them. I was nine at the time. It did not take me long to fall in love with the sport. Becoming an athlete has changed my life forever. I got spotted by the ACE Trust (Athletic, Cycling and Education Trust). They offered me a bursary to study at TuksSport High School.

'Getting good marks is as important as winning a race or a match'

"One of the most important things I have learned at TuksSport High School is to balance my studies and running. Our teachers have a good understanding of the challenges that come with being a student-athlete.

"There were days when some of us battled to focus in class after a hard morning's training. Our teachers would remind us that no sports career lasts forever and encourage us to be as dedicated to our studies as we are when training. According to them, getting good marks is as important as winning a race or a match.

"My biggest challenge came during the cross-country season. We trained five days a week and raced nearly every weekend. I got selected to compete at the South African Championships in Gqeberha. I planned to study on the bus, but it proved impossible because of all the noise. So, I ended up watching the educational videos my teachers made on my phone. It helped me to keep abreast of my studies.

"My biggest role model over the past five years is Miss Hettie de Villiers, our principal. She is truly inspirational. She gave us unbelievable support. At times, it felt like she was a mother to us all. Actually, I’ve got to thank all my teachers. They were always prepared to go the extra mile to help us. I would love to one day help and support someone as they have done to us. I will also be forever grateful to the ACE Trust for the opportunity they have given me."

Segwathla got a bursary to study BCom Financial Science at Wits. He plans to keep on running. He hopes to represent South Africa in cross-country running.

"Running is part of who I am. If I don't run for a day or two, I get depressed. I am the happiest when I run. For that hour or so that I am running, I am free. Nothing worries me."

- Author Wilhelm de Swardt

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