Island adventure beckons for Mfunelwa

Sivu Ryan Gary

Sivuyile Mfunelwa is ready for the biggest challenge of his coaching career yet.

In the space of just two years the 23-year-old who hails from Khayelitsha in the Western Cape has established himself as one of the top coaches at the Gary Kirsten Foundation.

Now he is all set for a whirlwind three-month coaching assignment on the beautiful island of Mauritius.

The project is a continuation of the work done to develop and promote further interest on the island by Gary Kirsten Cricket (GKC) from 2016 and will see Mfunelwa based at the Northfields Cricket Club.

The trip is just reward for Mfunelwa who has worked tirelessly identifying and honing young talented players from his hometown.

“It is an amazing opportunity for me,” said Mfunelwa who will be travelling overseas for the first time.

He continued, “I am so grateful to Gary Kirsten Cricket and the GK Foundation for the positive difference they have made in my life. They took me from the township and introduced me to the world.”

Mfunelwa was identified by Gary Kirsten Cricket in 2015 and currently manages the GKF township cricket ecosystems at Chris Hani, Siphamandla, Impendulo, Sivile and Masiphumelele Primary Schools.

“I never imagined that my career would shift towards cricket and that I would be fortunate enough to work with the GKC team. Two years ago I was working in sales and marketing hoping that one day I would get the chance to coach youngsters,” he said proudly.

“The trip means I am entrusted by Gary Kirsten and the management team at the GKC to represent the coaching brand and this is a great honour for me,” Mfunelwa said.

Mfunelwa says his aim is to provide quality coaching and learn as much as he can from the experience.

“I will make sure that I am always available for the kids and try to make a difference not just in cricket but in their lives as well,” he said.

“I want to focus more on one-on-one coaching because cricket is all about quality. It will take time but I am looking forward to playing a role in their development,” Mfunelwa added.

GKC Coaching Director, Ryan Van Niekerk believes Mfunelwa will be a great asset to the club and the overall development of cricket on the island.

“Travelling to Mauritius is a huge stepping stone for Sivu. He has done some phenomenal work within the GK Foundation. He is proactive and has an outstanding work ethic and he has learnt a lot from Gary Kirsten directly and the GKC head coach, Ryan Cook. We are extremely proud of Sivu’s development as a coach thus far and are looking forward to seeing him grow in Mauritius,” Van Niekerk said.

Mfunelwa will be partnered by GKC Coach, Brad Moses. The pair leave for Mauritius on 31 August.