The year 2013 was a year of pronounced note for one of the Transnet Foundation’s Orphaned Youth Education Development Programme (OYEPD) learners Johan Engelbrecht, an orphan from Belfast Orphanage in Hammanskraal. As he continues to display a consistent upward trajectory in academic performance, his passion for rugby took him to even greater heights as he played for the country’s top rugby teams in 2013.
Johan made provincial colours for Lynx South Africa, a rugby team supported by the 7 South African major rugby teams where he was voted best player of the year. The young sports enthusiast pushed himself even further and made it to the finals for Blue Bulls rugby league.
Engelbrecht is part of a team of 10 boys and girls who qualified for the Foundation’s pilot academic sponsorship project in 2012. He is currently in grade 11 at Prestige College in Hammanskraal where he was placed from the tenth grade.
Being exceptionally good at what he does and striving for even better is not a new thing to Johan. While at primary school, he served as head boy at his elementary school in Belfast, thus displaying his amazing leadership ability. There seem to be nothing that could stop this emerging sportsman as he has set even greater challenges for himself for 2014.
“I would like to play for Lynx South Africa again and excel in sport as well as my academic performance. I love rugby and what is interesting about it is how one plays the game and even more when a small guy takes on the big guys. I have set my goals and I am ready for the challenges that will come along with that,’’ a determined Johan explains. This, coming from the diminutive built young man attests to his determination to succeed.
Theresa Moila, Senior Manager for Education says: “The principal of Johan’s Primary School was sad to see Johan go as be bemoaned the fact that Transnet took one of his young leaders. I have seen Johan develop into a confident learner at Prestige College. I am in awe of his quiet and unassuming leadership quality that he displayed when Transnet Foundation tested the new intake of youth for the programme.”