Boitumelo’s ‘on the ball’

Boitumelo Mahloko (16) has her sights set on being the best athlete Limpopo.

POLOKWANE –  This 16-year-old from Flora Park, shines and excels in both academics and extracurricular activities.

She discovered her love and talent for netball while in primary school at Pemps.

“My mom used to play netball when she was young and I remember watching her play, this motivated me to try the sport myself. Netball is not the only extracurricular activity I excel in as athletics is another forte of mine,” she said.

Athletes such as Boitumelo are faced with many challenges and pressure to achieve good grades as well as retain optimal performances in the sport they participate in.

One of the challenges this Gr 11 learner found especially daunting is balancing her two extracurricular activities and her studies. One of the things she had to cut down on, she said, is sleep to ensure she achieves success on both fronts.

“I practice each sport for two hours after school after which I wait for transport to take me home. When I get home I sleep then I wake up when my family goes to sleep to study and get some homework done,” she explained.

Boitumelo, now schooling at Mitchell House College, said she began playing netball seriously when she met her coach, Cecilia Molokwa, who visited their school camp during the holiday to train them when she was in Gr 5.

She added Cecilia spotted her potential during the first camp and recruited her for the Rising Stars netball team in the city, a team she still plays for.

Boitumelo’s family are her biggest supporters. here are Thabo (brother), Boitumelo, Sonia (mother), and Khomotjo Mahloko (brother).

“When I first started training and coaching her she was nine years old. After many hours of dedication and patience she has been polished into one of my best players. She’s doing exceptionally well and I am very proud to say she is a challenge to even some the best netball players in the province. I strongly believe she will be a top athlete,” Cecilia said.

In terms of her athletics, coach George Mehale, described Boitumelo as an ambitious and good athlete who is determined to achieve exceptional results through dedication and hard work.

“She dedicates her time and mind to her training and she listens to instructions very well. This allows her to succeed and excel in both her schoolwork and her extracurricular activities. I have been coaching and training her since she was in Gr 8 and her performance has improved each year,” he said.

The young athlete advises her peers who wish to follow the same path to keep remain focused and disciplined. She said they should know what they want out of life, go for it, and never give up, no matter how long it might take them.

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Thabitha Mahlangu

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