A young Surrey Estate man has won a rugby scholarship in America but he needs help getting there.
Ishma-eel Safodien, 19, started showing interest in the sport at the age of 5, according to his mom, Rabia.
His dad was an avid rugby player and that’s how his passion for the sport developed.
Ishma-eel loved playing around with a rugby ball, and when he was 7 his mother enrolled him in the Surrey Estate Rangers Club.
Ishma-eel’s uncle was a boxer and his brother a soccer player, and while he has played soccer and cricket, rugby remains his passion.
He played for the club until the age of 12 and then joined the Cape Youth Rugby Academy a year later where he played as scrum-half until he was 15.
Because of his talent he received a scholarship to attend Rondebosch Boys’ High School where he matriculated in 2019. That same year he received a University of Johannesburg scholarship to study sports psychology.
In June, he landed an offer from an American sports agency that had seen a rugby video Ishma-eel posted on YouTube.
Ishma-eel is appealing to the public to help him pay for his visa and flight as he needs to be in America by month end.
“I am so excited to play abroad and although I will miss my family I know that the sacrifice is worth it. I am one step closer to reaching my dream, and my family is extremely supportive, especially my mom who has always supported me and made a plan when things needed to be done or I needed to be somewhere,” he said.
“It’s really hard to think that a boy from Surrey Estate will make it overseas, but I’m working hard to achieve my goal. I really wish to inspire other youth to work hard and follow their dreams. Don’t confine yourself to your surroundings. Pursue your goals and believe in yourself, be confident out there. Be the hardest worker in the room and make duah and believe in yourself.”
Ms Safodien said although she would miss her son, she wished him a successful scholarship and hoped he would remain in close contact.
“We are a very close family and we will miss him. He has always been a hard worker but he also enjoys himself on the field which is very important. Rugby has always been his greatest passion.”
If you want to help, call Rabia Safodien at 072 180 0423.