1. You studied at the University of Johannesburg completing a BCom in Sports Management and Marketing. Would you say that all the studying is paying off?
UJ is on the forefront of sport administration at a tertiary level in South Africa and their BCom degree most definitely is one of the strongest programs on offer at the moment. I learnt a great deal about the theoretical aspect of managing sport from my time at UJ but like most sports men and women, I learnt more from practical experience. Being involved in various sport management structures at tertiary, club and school levels, I was afforded the opportunity to learn from some of the most successful sport administrators and sport structures that South Africa has to offer.
2. You started at Westville Boys High School in your career and worked in the sports department for a number of years. Did you witness lots of growth at the school?
Westville Boys has most definitely grown in recent years. I am proud to have been a part of the recent processes put in place that ensured the growth of sport in the school. Westville Boys has always been a school driven to excel and with this attitude I am confident they will continue to excel. This is the culture and philosophy I am in the process of instilling at Ashton International College.
3. You now work at Ashton Ballito International School as the Head of Sport. Are you enjoying the challenges of being in charge of sport?
Absolutely yes, The challenge of growing a new school on the sporting front has presented me with a great deal of opportunity to try new procedures, as each school is unique, these procedures are never the same, so being able to apply what knowledge I have to with what I am learning has made this experience very rewarding.
4. From a state school to a private school. Sport results are always an expectation. Is that what makes the school situation in South Africa unique?
South Africa is known to have some of the most successful structures in the world of sport. We as South African’s are extremely competitive and I believe that this is what drives schools to excel in sport regardless of which division they belong too. Sport is a major aspect to the judging how successful a school is and thus we as sport administrators are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve sport at a school level.
5. Ashton is making good progress in the sports front. Does one sum that up to the number of facilities that are being built?
I am extremely fortunate to be a part of a school that is committed to providing its students with the very best opportunities to excel in sport. We want to build a culture of sporting excellence on the North Coast. We have some extremely talented sports men and women in the area and in the past these players had to go into Durban to receive more opportunities, WE WANT TO CHANGE THAT PERCEPTION!! We are putting in a huge effort to source the very best coaches for our sports as possible to ensure that every student at Ashton has the opportunity to follow their sporting aspirations.
6. Ashton is going with the term “uniquely different”. What is different about the sports programme at Ashton?
We strive to provide new, exciting and innovative opportunities for our students on the sporting front. Everything from the facilities we have built, and those still to be built, to the coaches we have employed is geared to providing our players with all the necessary tools for them to excel. Our coaching philosophy is to develop a brand of sport that is in line with current trends and techniques as well as a big emphasis is put on creating and brand of sport that is exciting and attractive to players as well as spectators.
7. Which sport would you say is becoming Ashton’s flagship sport?
I believe on a national level hockey as a whole is one of the fastest growing sports, both in girls and boys structures. This is also true of Ashton College. I believe that this is partly due to the construction of our internationally certified hockey astro as well as the world class indoor sports arena which was recently opened. We have also invested in acquiring extremely talented hockey coaches who have a wealth of knowledge not only as players at provincial and national level but who have also been involved in coaching at these levels. Another exciting opportunity for Ashton hockey is having outside structures such as the Umhlali Impi’s Hockey Club as well as Pro Series Indoor make use of our facilities. This allows our players extra opportunities to play in senior structures. Aside from hockey, sports such as netball and swimming at Ashton is excelling and flying the Ashton banner high within KZN sport.
8. Participation is key. Would you see that as a successful season if everyone got involved and made the most of their opportunities to play sport?
I am firm believer that schools success is not based solely on the results of the school, these are obviously extremely important, but I personally judge my sporting programs’ success on the number of players participating in sport at Ashton on a weekly bases. Every year, Ashton increases its teams across all the sporting codes and this for me is showing that the processes in place are working and that we are on the right track. We strive to be one of the strongest co-ed schools in the country and with our depth increasing week by week, I can most definitely see us reaching our targets in the near future.
Interviewed by: Ryan Smith
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