Gold medalist’s big move from groundsman to Sports Officer


Gold medalist’s big move from groundsman to Sports Officer

Perseverance Conquers: Tebogo Maphethe’s journey is an inspiration to many. Once a groundsman at VUT, he’s now a qualified Sports Officer.

Vusi Zwane

Where there’s a will, there’s a way – as proven by Tebogo Maphethe, a Sports Officer at the Vaal University of Technology’s (VUT) Sports and Recreation Department. Tebogo’s humble beginnings as boy from a small town in Limpopo, helped shape him into the man he is today.  He worked his way up from being a groundsman at the VUT sports field to a hands-on Sports Officer and leader amongst his peers.


Sports has always run through Tebogo’s veins, as he was an excellent athlete and softball player for Ngawana-Mohube High School, which he matriculated from in 2004. His family unfortunately didn’t have the funds to help further his tertiary education. Things changed when he met the VUT softball team at a tournament where he was representing Seleteng Giant Killers Softball Club. When the VUT players came to know of his plight, Tebogo was recruited by Mr Pule Mphahlele and Coach Buti Segone.


Joining VUT in 2005 to study Sports Management and play softball, he completed his diploma in 2009. In 2010 until 2011 he studied his B-tech in Business Administration. Tebogo says that VUT has paved the way for him, by providing him with the opportunities to study and becoming a graduate through his participation in sports and now, also working for the institution.

The Limpopo born player worked at ISAK Steyl stadium as a groundsman from 2010 to 2016. VUT has hosted big events at this stadium, such as the University Sports South Africa (USSA) nationals in cricket and softball, Varsity Cup football, Kay Motsepe Future Champs, South African Local Government (SALGA¬) Games, and NFD games under Jomo Cosmos as well as the Rugby Craven Week. That’s where he learned to work under pressure, as a team player and adapting to an environment with diverse cultures and individuals.


Tebogo has played Softball for the biggest part of his life and has achieved a lot as an individual and a team player.  He recently competed at the World Series championships for Softball in Canada where South Africa placed 10th out of 16 teams from around the globe. Tebogo’s achievements include:

  • 2002: Representing Ngwana-Mohube during the Love-Life national games in Durban, taking second place in Softball.
  • 2003: Winning the national U/19 tournament representing Limpopo making it to USSA all-stars team.
  • 2004: Represented the USSA national team in the National Provincial Championships (NPC) for the first time. He also won the national Club champs with Seleteng Giant Killers
  • 2005 – Team manager for U/16 Limpopo men’s Softball team;

– Competed in the National Martin Saas Memorial Tournament Champions

– Received a Bronze medal at the NPC, representing Limpopo

  • 2007 – Received a Bronze Medal at the USSA nationals with VUT

– USSA MVP (Most Valuable Player)

– Gold Medal at the NPC representing Limpopo

– Participated in the Martin Saas Championships in Botswana

  • 2008-2015: -He formed part of the USSA National Team.

– Coached the U/17 national school tournament champions for Limpopo

  • 2009- Made the national team for the Zone 6 games in Zimbabwe
  • 2010 – 2016- Participated in the  USSA championships
  • 2011- USSA Captain
  • 2012 – Became a member of the Local Organising Committee for the USSA cricket tournament hosted by VUT
  • 2013 – USSA Transformation and Development Officer
  • 2014 – Local Organising Committee member for the USSA softball tournament hosted by VUT
  • 2015 – VUT Cancer Awareness LOC groundsman.

2016 – Received a Gold medal at the NPC with Limpopo.

– Gauteng Softball champions with VUT Softball

2017 – USSA Softball National Chairperson

– Received a Gold medal at the NPC with Limpopo

– Played at the Softball South Africa World Series tournament in Canada




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