Palesa Hlela is a local girl, born and bred in Howick and currently completing her third year in Sport's Management at University of Pretoria. She is part of the SA National Water Polo Team and has just returned to SA after doing National duties in Brno, Czech Republic (2018 EU Nations Water Polo Cup). Palesa has now also been called up to participate in the FINA women's water polo world Cup in September (Russia).
Palesa's parents came into our KSS offices and met with Gary and I to see how we could help. Palesa's sports profile is impressive. She attended school at Howick Prep where some of her swimming records still stand. She has over ten Midmar mile races under her belt and represented KZN in swimming and water polo at National Level. Palesa represented South Africa in water polo for the first time in 2015 and has remained a member of Swim South Africa since finishing high school.
Palesa says "Participating in the world cup is what every elite athlete strives to achieve in any sporting code. Despite the cliché, it truly is a dream come true, but with the financial implications of participating at such a high level, I believe, based on finances, that the Czech trip could be my last international tournament."
However, for the dream to be attained she has to face up to the realities as these national duties have to be self-funded. Palesa continues saying "my trips in the past have been paid in full by my parents through loans. I also want to contribute, hence we are attempting to raise funds". Her mom Nthabi adds that "the dates for the payments to Russia are tight. We got confirmation of this Russia call up on 1 August 2018 and we need to pay a deposit of 15K by 7 August and the balance of 13K by end of August. If we fail Palesa cannot go. The May trip to Czech was rescued by crowd funding and friends who started a #takePalesaToCzech initiative".
News supplied by Knight Security Solutions.