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13 July 2018
UDubs volleyballer Bejancke Della and veteran coach Elmien Cloete head to world champs

University of the Western Cape (UWC) beach volleyball sensation Bejancke Della and veteran coach Elmien Cloete have come a long way, having first met at the Western Cape Sports School as student and coach, respectively.

They’ve represented South African in a number of international competitions over the years, and share competencies, experiences and visions.

Those were probably among the reasons that prompted University Sport South Africa (USSA) to select the two to represent South Africa at the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) World University Beach Volleyball Championship in Munich, Germany from 9 to 13 July 2018.

Della and Cloete get along like a house on fire - and they’re a match made in heaven. Both are hard-working, can easily handle extreme pressure and have achieved a lot in beach volleyball.

UWC is certainly well-represented at the World championships.

Cloete, a UWC alumna who is responsible for volleyball administration and coaching at the University, will be at the helm of coaching the SA team, while Della, a fourth-year law student, will pair with former UWC player Manana Mosea, who is now with Vaal University of Technology. Another UWC rising star, Laeeqah Sujee, is a non-traveling reserve, along with Caroline Malahlela of the University of Limpopo.

“It makes sense to partner Manana and Bejancke,” Cloete notes. “They are the strongest pair that we have, and the most experienced in terms of participating at national and international tournaments.”

Although there are many talented volleyball players and coaches around the country, their selection into the national team was made easy because of their individual skills and abilities.

Having represented South Africa as both a volleyball player and a coach, Cloete is well aware of the task that lies ahead in Germany.

“I can personally attest to the level of volleyball overseas. South African volleyball is very behind compared to Europe, and our athletes don’t always do very well overseas. But the more exposure we get, the more improvement we will get,” she says.

For Della, her selection came as a surprise, given the high standards of other players during the trials.

“It’s quite an achievement for me because only two of us were chosen from among many players, some of whom are very good,” she says. Still, she is over the moon with her call-up. “I’m very excited about my selection, and the prospects of going to Germany - it’s a country I have never been to, and I’m looking forward to experiencing new things and meeting new people.”