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I Am UWC: Aghmat Ceres

Hard work pays off for UWC footballer

Aghmat Ceres’ hard work, dedication and focus have set him apart from the rest. His competencies caught the attention of the national selectors when he was selected for Amajita, the national Under 20 football team, which finished fourth in the recent Under 20 African Nations Cup in Zambia. In so doing, the team qualified for the Under 20 World Cup which is scheduled for May in South Korea.

The 20-year-old second-year BCom student at UWC was also part of the Amajita squad which came out as runners-up in the Cosafa Cup on home soil in December.

“I don’t think I have the best talent, but I work harder and I know what I want. What I want is to be the best I can be and get the best out of myself,” explains Ceres, who plays for Ajax Cape Town in the Multichoice Diski Challenge, and in the ABC Motsepe leagues.

Ceres is still recovering from an injury he sustained from national duty when he was forced to be substituted in Amajita’s last game in Zambia. He notes that although his team wanted to win the tournament, their main goal was to qualify for the World Cup - which they achieved.

The Grassy Park-born right back started playing football at the age of five for Peninsula United where he was coached by his father. At the age of nine he was spotted by Ajax, and he’s been with the side since.

After matriculating from South Peninsula High, he enrolled at UWC and was part of the University team which competed in the Varsity Football competition last year. His goal is to complete his degree and land a professional football contract. It’s been tough balancing his academic and sporting careers, though.

“Every day I leave my house at 7 in the morning and I get home around 8.30 at night,” says Ceres. “When I leave campus I go straight to soccer practice. It’s really tough and I don’t have time for myself.”

Add to the mix instances when he has to travel away and misses classes, and it becomes even tougher. But the support from his family and friends has come in handy.

“When I’m away I miss a lot of work,” he notes, “and I don’t get special treatment from lecturers. But my family and friends have been very supportive. They will do everything and organise material for me. But I don’t expect to get high marks. I just want to work as hard as I can and to pass.”