Mthoko needs funds to travel to Europe to start fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional Beach Volleyball player.
My name is Mthokozisi Mndingi from a small town called Tongaat in the township of Hambanathi. I am currently 25 years old and I am the eldest of 3 brothers. After my father and grandparents passed away, my coaches, along with my mom, stepped up and played a huge role in helping me become the person and player I am today.
2009 is where my love for volleyball was born were a Coach by the name of Sthembiso 'Colours' Mkhuwanazi took me from soccer and invited me to come to practice with his volleyball team. I did not hesitate to get onto the court to give it a try, and as I played, he kept encouraging me even if I was not doing the right thing. He saw potential in me and never stopped putting in the effort and his encouragement was the thing that made me come back more and more wanting to learn more about this sport. I gained more interest to it and I made sure I arrived very early at the court's before everybody and since then, I've just always imagined playing like one of the senior players that I had seen in my province. 2010 was the year I start playing some proper volleyball as I also started making it into the School Team (Tongaat Secondary) and dominated it till 2013. I received several individual awards and made it into the Salga Game's Team where my team Team eThekwini won Gold in 2010 and 2011 and Bronze 2012. 2011 was my first year playing in the Provincial Team u21 and won Silver in Bloemfontein and 2012 we won Gold in Durban. I was honoured by being selected to represent South Africa u21 in Tunisia early 2013. I moved to my Aunt in Johannesburg where I got exposed into more Volleyball. I joined Vaal University of Technology (VUT) approached by the late great Coach Chief, where my passion for volleyball grew more and it is where I fell in love with beach volleyball.
I started playing Beach Volleyball in 2015 in the Provincial tournaments against one of the best from within the country with the likes of Collin Pocock (former Olympian), Andile Masinga (Indoor National Team Captain) and Jamaine Naidoo (World Champs participant) just to name a few. They really got me motivated and more eager to play at their level. I believe that my hard work and dedication paid off in 2018 when I got the opportunity to play in the first National Volleyball League where I played against other great players like Leo Williams and Grant Goldschmidt. My partner and I lost to them in the finals, but that Tournament led Leo Williams to travel with him to participate in the International FIVB Beach Volleyball events which is every player’s dream to play on that level. I was exposed to the highest stage of Beach Volleyball and I had the experience of a lifetime.
The tour was in Asia and my partner and I played the first event in the Philippines. We had to play the Qualification round and our first match was against Canada and we won the match 2-0. On the same day with challenging weather conditions, we had to play our second Qualification match against Germany. It was a close game in which we lost 2-0 and losing both sets 22-20.
We went on to the second event after a couple of days which was in Thailand, Bangkok, and we played both teams from Austria under extremely hot conditions and beat them 2-1. In both those games we lost our first set and had to push hard to win both those matches to qualify to be in the Main Draw. My body was overwhelmed, but we had to play Thailand's no.1 team the next day and sadly lost 2-0. Later that day we played again against Hong Kong and lost that match with 2-0.
Although he knew that I wasn't completely ready for the tournament, I was very grateful that Leo believed in me enough to actually go participate with me at one of the world's biggest stage of Beach Volleyball and represent the country. He was happy with my performance with the amount of skill I had back then but knew that I needed a lot more training. Ever since then, I have been working extremely hard to get myself to the level to compete Internationally. I saw that I could handle the competition with the little I had and thought to myself that with just more preparation, I can match that level of play and hopefully win tournaments
I believe that I'm ready to compete in the world class events and I'm seeking for sponsorship to help support and give me the opportunity to travel to Europe for it to be the first step in fulfilling my dream of becoming a professional Beach Volleyball player.
This comes with a few challenges with finance being the main one. My goal is to make enough money for a few events that may happen at the end of the year, and it will cover my travel costs, accommodation, and entry fees for events. I am deeply encouraged by the support I have already received, but I still need help reaching my fundraising goal. Any donation big or small will be highly appreciated
There has been 4 FIVB event's confirmed already as:
• Slovenia 30 July - 02 August 2020
• Vaduz 05 Aug - 09 Aug 2020
• Denmark 20 Aug - 22 Aug 2020
• Montpellier 25 Aug - 29 Aug 2020
After these event's we're still looking forward in participating in the European Tour which will be a 3 month's Tour travelling to:
• Czech Republic
Flight from ZA to Europe is approximately R 12,000. with internal flights between cities and accommodation for the 5 weeks (including a training week) the budget
Accommodation - 35 days at 80 Euros = R 56 000
Internal flights - R30 000
Food, Etc - R20 000