Phathushedzo Radzilani, hailing from Springs in Gauteng, initially aspired to be a Veterinarian. However, his path took an unexpected turn when he was selected to play rugby for his school’s team in Grade 8 at Dr Johan Juurgens school. Inspired by his coach’s character, Phathushedzo discovered his true passion for the sport.
Years later, Phathushedzo found himself at The Sharks Academy Basic Rugby Programme, where he plays an integral role in promoting the sport. Currently pursuing his second year in a Bachelor of Management in Sport and Leisure through ETA College, he manages to balance his academic pursuits with his rugby dreams. Reflecting on his experience at The Sharks Academy, Phathu as he is passionately known describes it as a busy yet beautiful journey.
Recognizing the importance of effective time management, Phathu has set high expectations for himself and is prepared to seek help when needed. He also aims to be a role model for incoming students in the bursary program. Apart from his commitment to rugby, Phathu also has a strong passion for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
With two years of refining his skills at The Sharks Academy, Phathu’s dedication to the sport is evident. He further demonstrates his commitment by working at the stadium during home games. Notable achievements include representing KZN in Provincials last year and previously participating in provincials in Gauteng.
Beyond the rugby field, Phathu aspires to become a professional rugby player and a successful businessperson. Throughout his journey, he has drawn strength from the unwavering support of his father, mother, and little brother. Role models such as Malcom Marx, Werner Kok, and David Pocock have played a significant role in shaping his growth as an athlete.
Despite facing challenges, including injuries, Phathu believes that discipline, support, and a strong mentality are key attributes for any successful athlete. Expressing his gratitude, he acknowledges the Hollywood Foundation for their invaluable contribution, which has alleviated the financial burden on his parents. He pledges to make the most of this opportunity, stating, “Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity, I promise I will use it to my utmost best.”
Phathu’s advice to aspiring individuals is simple yet powerful – “work hard!”. He emphasises the importance of perseverance and consistent effort, regardless of motivation. Phathu serves as an inspiring example of determination, commitment, and resilience. Excelling both academically and athletically, he inspires fellow students and aspiring athletes alike. With his unwavering dedication and passion, Phathu is well on his way to achieving his dreams in the world of rugby and beyond.