The recent International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s T20 World Cup at Boland Park Stadium in Paarl enchanted sports lovers’ hearts around the world and delivered only the best cricketing action. But while spectators got to enjoy the game and relax, numerous teams were hard at work behind the scenes – such as the team that ensured that the pitch was at a world-class level for each match. One of the members of this groundsmen team was Nomanqosini Sylvia Putu, a long-term employee of Drakenstein Municipality. Vars spoke to Nomanqosini to find out more about her work and her voyage into World Cup cricket.

and Yvette Tsolo (Manager: Sport and Recreation at Drakenstein Municipality) approached me to provide support at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. I think she saw potential in me as someone who works diligently and is always committed to learning and growing my career.

What was your role at the ICC?

My role was to sweep the pitch and assist my male colleagues in watering the field.

Did the experience exceed your expectations? Or was it different from what you expected? The teamwork was very exciting because every role-player was committed to the task at hand, and we all took great pride in our duties. Our team went above and beyond to ensure world-class service delivery. As reportedly the first woman to work in this capacity at a women’s event of this magnitude in South Africa, this was great exposure for me and a platform to showcase my abilities and capabilities. Something that stood out for me was the exceptionally strict field requirements. The pitch had to adhere to international standards; this was very different from the sports fields where I normally work. The operations were extremely well-resourced and went beyond what I expected. Did this event open doors for you or inspire you to be part of similar events in the future? This opportunity was the start of many more ideas and dreams. All I can think about now is innovation! The experience definitely opened doors for me, and I would gladly say yes to opportunities to work at more events of this nature. This experience has introduced me to a whole new world of different resources, which will enable me to develop my own career further.

When did your journey at Drakenstein Municipality start?

I have been working as a Small Plant Operator at Drakenstein Municipality since 2009. After I matriculated, my parents could not afford to pay for my university fees, so I sought employment. I started as a temporary General Worker at Antoniesvlei Resort, where I was working in an all-male department. When a Small Plant Operator post was advertised, I applied and was permanently employed, which exposed me to work at various sports facilities. Always wanting to learn more and upskill myself, I diversified my responsibilities. I explored several fields, which included assisting in the offices alongside my former manager, Toppie Brand. I later furthered my studies by completing a secretarial course at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. While many might call it a challenge, I enjoyed working in all- male teams at the Municipality. I also acquired plenty of sport-related skills, especially when I was asked to work on the cricket field. How did you get involved in the ICC T20 World Cup? I am currently the only woman in our department working as a Small Plant Operator,


VARS | March

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