Wed 27 Apr 2005 | 12:00


Wed 27 Apr 2005 | 12:00

School profile

Itembelihle Comprehensive School is a big school in New Brighton, a sprawling suburb in the northern part of Port Elizabeth, It was first established as a township in 1903.

In 1961 Itembelihle comprehensive schools started with a  single classroom in Kwazakhele as a junior secondary school. Later that year the school moved to New Brighton.

In 1965 girls were allowed to enter the school for the first time.

In 1978 Mr Van Coller became principal and the school got its name – Itembelihle, meaning Goof Hope.

In 1983 Mr DW Schoeman became principal and the school moved to a new building on the same premises.

School information

Name: Itembelihle Comprehensive School
Foundation date: 1961
Motto: Ngemizamo Sophumelela (Success through effort)
Pupil numbers: 1 400 (more girls than boys)
Rugby teams: 2

Rugby at Itembelihle

In 1979 Theo Pieterse, a graduate of the University of Port Elizabeth, a man with experience of provincial rugby, joined the staff and started coaching rugby at the school. Soccer was the dominant sport in black schools in those days. Wednesdays were huge sports days for schools. Rugby and soccer matches were played, and on Saturdays boys would play for clubs. Our school was always competitive but there was not much talent.

After 19994 rugby was dying in the townships. That year Pieterse formed a combined schools side for all schools in New Brighton to play the second teams of schools like Grey and Westering. They lost those games but many great players came from that side – like Solly Tyibilika who is playing for South Africa, Kwezi Yoyo who played for EP Schools Academy and EP B and many others who are playing for Spring Rose, the top club in the township.

In 1996 Coca Cola started holding rugby tournaments for disadvantaged school which had a great influence on the game in the townships.

From 1999 Itembelihle started on a programme to make the school one of the top teams in the Eastern Province. Itembelihle started playing established schools and recruiting players to the school

In 2000 Itembelihle lost the Coca Cola final to Nathaniel Nyaluza of Grahamstown. In that year Itembelihle played Framesby (lost 19-13)_, Alexander Road (lost 10-8) and Cillie (drew 10-10).

In 2001 Itembelihle won the Coca Cola Cup and received jerseys as a reward. hat year they beat Andrew Rabie (14-10) and lost 12-10 to Newton.

In 2002 Itembelihle lost 17-5 to the strong team of Die Brandwag. In that year the Peter Mkata Tournament was started for Black and Coloured schools. Itembelihle beat Solomon Mhlangu 19-10 in the final. In the Coca Cola final they beat Aeroville 20-12 in the final. They also played in the SASSU tournament for big schools and caused a shock when they knocked out Daniël Pienaar, winning 27-24. Die Brandwag beat them 24-0 in the final.

In 2002 two players made the Eastern Province Craven Week side – flyhalf Lunguisa January and crash-tackling inside centre Stoba Magaba.

There have been many successes since then – beating Framesby 29-27 in 2003 and Newton 21-8, Pearson High 18-10 and Alexander Road 9-8.

Itembelihle plays in the Sanlam Night Series, the Peter Mkata Tournament, and also against Ndzondelelo in an FNB Classic Clash, one of the few chose schools.

Coach Theo Pieterse says of the FNB contribution: "Without it we'd be nowhere."

Itembelihle is working with EP RFU, SARFU, Spur and First National Bank to establish a rugby academy at the school that will serve the community, the Spring Rose Rugby club and the Eastern Province Women's team, for girls play the game at the school as well.

The biggest rugby problem the school has is transport. Because their playing field is unacceptable, the school plays all its matches away from home, sometimes in Grahamstown, The school relies heavily on sponsorship from, SPUR and First National Bank.

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Itembelihle Comprehensive School | Rugby365