for Lebo and the SA Gaels

This is the South African Gaels with Lebo Makaela second from right in the back row.


With their never-give-up attitude, impressive skills and respect for the game and their opponents, it is clear why the South African Gaels are the reigning South African Ladies Gaelic Football junior champions.


Lebo makes her mark


Lebo Maekela has only been playing Gaelic football for a year, but after growing up playing soccer, it just came naturally to her. A friend had been telling her about the sport and she decided to try her hand (or should that be foot) at it.


She was immediately hooked and has been reporting for team practice at Thembisa or at the Wanderers every Sunday.


Lebo describes the sport as unique and says she enjoyed playing with the likes of former Banyana Banyana player, Vuyo Mkhabela who also assists with NWU Ladies Soccer. To top it all, Lebo was awarded one of nine ladies All Star player awards that acknowledges the skill of the players.


Lebo’s star is clearly on the rise and who knows what 2019 will hold for her.


These ladies rounded off 2018 by winning the Fexco Asian Gaelic Games and capturing the hearts of their opponents. The team included Lebo Maekela from Residences and Catering Services on the campus in Vanderbijlpark.


Kicking off in Ireland


Gaelic football started in Ireland and has gained global popularity in recent years.


It is played between two teams of 15 players with a goal resembling the one used in rugby, but with a net below the crossbar. The aim is to kick or punch the round ball into the net for three points or over the crossbar for one point.


The game is played in two 30 minute halves.


The Asian Gaelic Games welcomed participants from all over Asia and, since 2015, also the southern tip of Africa.


The games saw the South African Gaels undertake a 24-hour journey which ended in Bangkok. This was a fitting reward for an extensive fundraising drive to ensure that every player was afforded the opportunity to go. For some players, like Lebo, it was their first trip abroad.