Meet Coach Vuyani

The last born of four children to a laborer and a housewife, I grew up in Khayelitsha and went to school at a local school called Masithandane Primary School. We were a very poor household and my parents worked really hard to make ends meet. At times I would go to school with holes in my shoes. Life was difficult for me as I had to forego a lot of things that my friends would have.

I got introduced to cricket when I was 8 years old and still in primary School. One day a teacher walked into our class and asked if there were boys who were keen on cricket. I obviously raised my hand even though I didn’t know what it was. I just wanted to try something new because I wasn’t particularly good at football. I immediately fell in love with the sport. And I think I became one of the best from the group that started. A coach from Western Province cricket would visit us on Tuesdays for training. After a while he started inviting the better players to come to Khayelitsha Cricket Club. That’s where I met a lot of other better players.

At the club we got into teams and had coaches who would teach us a lot more than what the guys at school knew. It was a fun and competitive environment where you needed to work extra hard to play. There was a lot of interest in the game. If you missed one practice during the week you wouldn’t play on the weekend. The facilities weren’t great. In fact they were horrible, and our equipment was less than adequate. But we were very competitive.

I grew up in the game, playing cricket at Khayelitsha Cricket Club as a batsman. I moved up ranks and age groups. During that time, I managed to get into various Western Province teams and found much satisfaction from playing the game.

As teenagers we were tasked with coaching the younger payers as a way to pay subscriptions and give back to the club. I can honestly say that I started coaching cricket as a teenager, a role that I enjoyed so much as it meant I had people listening to me and looking to me for guidance.

I carried on playing and coaching at the same time and was encouraged to do both as that helped the development of the club. I then started investing in coaching courses and found that helped me too as a player. I loved every moment of my coaching at the club as I saw the impact I had on a group of players who were absolutely awesome kids. 

That is something that still drives me even today; being able to play a part in the development of a person and have a real impact on them. I get to be to them what others were to me growing up. It was great to have people believing in you. Growing up, I wanted to be that person for the players I coached.

Cricket for me is one of those sports that presents challenges that one encounters in life. You learn a lot about a man by watching him play cricket or playing cricket with him. I aspire to be that person that players know they can run to in times of great difficulty. A support person of some sort. A person they can rely on to be honest and caring for them throughout. My coaching dream is to lead a national team that will go on to win the World Cup one day.