Nemato rowers and gymnasts impress


THE slogan of Nemato Change a Life (NCAL) has been changed to “success in life – for youth, by youth”.

Founder Jan Blom thanked Sandra Millar from the NPO Development Course in Johannesburg and the participants for providing ideas.


The NCAL handball club is struggling with too few members.

It is the only team sport that demands a minimum number of members to be able to compete. Without matches, training becomes a little pointless and members are lost at the same pace as new members enrol, always leaving the club one or two short to enable them to compete and an important challenge for the club is to break of this deadlock.

ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT: The Nemato Rowing Club U14 boys getting ready for their gold medal race at the Buffalo Heads Regatta. From left are Mondli Njibane, Odwa Quma, Akhona Quma, Aphelele Makeleni (at the rear), Lindokuhle Nikelo and, in the boat, Thembani James, Lifa Nxopho and Xolisani Hina Picture: SUPPLIED


Most of the club’s fencers are too young to compete in the Boland competition in Franschhoek near Cape Town, so didn’t attend.

However, the South African Amateur Fencing Association (SAAFA) invited NCAL fencing coaches Chuma Neyndwana and Thulani Magongo, to experience the event and get a better understanding about high level fencing and how competitions are run.

“Chuma was thrown in the deep end when he was made to umpire fights,” said Blom, “but he knows how to swim and did well.”

As the other fencing club in Port Alfred, Ingubo Fencing Club (a Stenden project), doesn’t have fencing equipment and the NCAL club has a space problem both clubs began training together three times per week. NCAL coaches and equipment are used, with Stenden transporting NCAL members to Ingubo.

“It is great that Ingubo Fencing Club is up and running now,” commented Blom.


The daily homework class focuses mainly on mathematics, the most challenging subject at township schools.

NCAL is making good progress, and now maths marks are better than the average for the other subjects. However Blom warned that doesn’t mean that everything is going well.

“The ability to concentrate for long periods is poorly developed. This slows down our progress, and means that the maths levels of most of our members is still below what it needs to be to qualify for technical studies at FET colleges,” he said.

Due to electricity supply problems NCAL is currently struggling to run its office and do tasks like bookkeeping and the newsletter on time and are using electricity from the neighbours. After applying to Eskom two years ago, NCAL has yet to be connected to the grid.

“Often we can’t buy electricity for the neighbours, due to a fault in the registration of their electricity box. When we have electricity, the power fluctuates between 120 and 240 volts, forcing us to invest in expensive power supplies for our computers to deal with these fluctuations,” said Blom.

“Instead of fixing the problems, Eskom instructed our neighbours to disconnect us from their box. It is a shame that Eskom makes its own incompetence our problem.”

Following last month’s armed robbery of an NCAL students’ home in Port Elizabeth, the club has managed to move them from the township to town. According to Blom the new accommodation is much better, but also more expensive. He hoped the students would soon receive their NSFAS bursary to cover the costs.

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