Success On and Off the Field for UKZN’s Soccer Star
From the time he chose to take up soccer as a full-time sport in 2011, Bachelor of Commerce student and Maritzburg United FC soccer player Mr Conal Cone knew that he would have to find a way to balance his love for the game and numbers.
Fast forward to 2018, 18-year-old Conal is doing just that! The UKZN Prestige Sports Scholarship recipient whose impressive football career has seen him play an international tournament with the Golden Arrows under 19 team against renowned teams such as Arsenal and Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon in 2016 making this scholarship the cherry on top.
‘Balancing sport and studies has never been easy as sport requires a lot from your body, both physically and mentally, leaving very little energy to sit down and study. Luckily for me I also have a passion for learning new things in the classroom and that desire has carried me forward. I am forever grateful to UKZN for allowing me to pursue my studies. I can’t express how much the scholarship means to me as it allows me to chase my dreams both in the classroom and on the field,’ said Conal.
While his future plans include becoming a professional footballer in South Africa and later playing in Europe, Conal also plans to use his academic qualification to establish himself as a successful entrepreneur.
‘As of next year (my second-year) I would like to study economics as I believe in empowering and equipping myself to successfully run my own business one day. I would love to inspire many South Africans and show them that anything is possible and I hope to one day be in a position to do that.’
Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal