One on One With Miguel De Sousa

Wed, 09/04/2014 - 15:37

We chat to 1st XI Brackenfell HS cricketer on his current achievements. Miguel De Sousa has been part of the 1st XI cricket team since 2012 and also sets the Boland Indoor cricket scene alight.

Miguel was born with one hand but he hasn't let that get in the way of his love for the game. Miguel believes the only disability in life is a bad attitude, but with a positive attitude and determination you are capable of achieving anything you set your mind to.

Achievements
2012 1st team cricket at Brackenfell HS
2012 U18B - Boland Indoor Cricket Team
2012 MVP at Indoor National Championships
2013 1st team cricket at Brackenfell HS
2013 U18B – Captain of the Boland Indoor Cricket Team
2013 MVP at Indoor National Championships
2014 1st team cricket at Brackenfell HS
2014 U18A – Boland Indoor Cricket Team
Bio
Name Miguel De Sousa
Age 18
Weight 75kg
Height 1.7m
Grade 12

In sport you will have to work harder than abled bodied people but that is a small price to pay for succeeding.

Well done on your current achievements as a player, when did you start taking the sport of cricket seriously?
Miguel De Sousa: 
I was always serious about cricket but in grade 7 with the coaching and the backing of my coaches Henco Bornman and Mr vd Merwe of Brackenfell Primary I started focusing on improving my spin technique. Making the U/13A team was a major stepping stone for me.

Who’s your biggest sporting role model and why?
Miguel De Sousa: I don’t believe in having role models and I will probably get crucified for this answer but the sports person who I looked up to is Oscar Pistorious (I am basing my answer purely on sport and not his personal issues that is dominating the news channels right now). His work ethic, determination and attitude regarding his sport was an inspiration for me and made me work harder.

The only disability in life is a bad attitude​ 

What has been the highlight of your career?
Miguel De Sousa: I would have loved to say winning the final in our league this year but the match was canceled due to rain so I would say winning against Outeniqua last year as nobody gave us a chance. Also winning the Interschools match against our rivals HS Tygerberg this year – it was not just a win it was an emphatic win for us.

What are your best wicket figures?
Miguel De Sousa: 5/25 vs Settlers HS this year.

I will have to start proposing ideas so that a disabled league be integrated into WPCU and then take it to CSA.

What setbacks (if any) have you faced in your career thus far?
Miguel De Sousa: When it was overheard that a coach said he would never pick a one-handed person for his team – that made me more determined than ever to perform.  I wish he could see me now ☺. Then I would say not being able to play for the first year of high school due to recovering from a broken ankle.

What are your short term and long term goals in life and in cricket?
Miguel De Sousa: Short term cricket: To finish 2014 on a high during our tour to Mossel Bay in Sept/Oct and hopefully we will get to play our league final match. Long term cricket: To play for my province, country or overseas. If I can’t make the provincial/Proteas squad then hopefully there is a disabled provincial/Proteas side. And if there is not one then I will have to start proposing ideas so that a disabled league be integrated into WPCU and then take it to CSA.

Short term life: Passing my matric year and hopefully get a scholarship to study sports management or sports coaching/teaching. Long term life: To be successful spinner and cricket coach. To make sure cricket is played on all levels for people with disabilities.

The mind is the most powerful tool and if you decide to do something do it​

What’s your motto in life and why?
Miguel De Sousa: The only disability in life is a bad attitude. A positive attitude makes life so much easier (people complain about petty things in life and having a negative attitude just makes it more difficult for them).  

What message do you have to young people who feel challenged by their disabilities in life and in sport?
Miguel De Sousa: Don’t let people tell you you can’t. The mind is the most powerful tool and if you decide to do something do it – its all about your attitude and determination and not about theirs. In sport you will have to work harder than abled bodied people but that is a small price to pay for succeeding. If you have a set back that’s fine, just pick yourself up and do it again and again, just don’t quit. People are afraid of the unknown and that is why people tend to discriminate against disabled people. Always remember you are your biggest challenge in life because only you can let yourself down and only you can determine your future. Always stay positive – it’s a way of life.

And lastly do you have a special lady in your life?
Miguel De Sousa: My mom

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