Sport Therapist Charné Petersen is on a mission to make it to the top as she is currently studying a football medical diploma through FIFA.
In 2016, Petersen’s career began when she assisted Rio Olympians and then went on to start treating The Lions as well as Orlando Pirates FC footballers on a part-time basis.
Currently residing in Cape Town, Petersen is treating from her practice at the flagship sweat 1000 offices in Sea Point.
She is also on call for Stormers and Cape Town City FC.
As Petersen works independently, she believes one of the most important leadership skills to have is confidence, which she is using to make a mark for herself in the sport industry.
Speaking with Celine Abrahams, Petersen chats about drawing inspiration from Minkie Tshabalala and Simoné Conley, and shares advice to young girls who want to venture into the sport space.
Welcome, Charné, wonderful to chat to you! I have been keeping an eye on your career over the years and have always wondered what it is like being a woman sport therapist in a male-dominated space. Please can you tell us about it.
At the start of my career in 2016, I was assisting the men and women Rio Olympians, so I was not the only woman, however when I started treating The Lions and Orlando Pirates (part-time) I was well prepared for it because I was groomed by my mentor Minkie Tshabalala – Sport Scientist in Football.
When did your interest in sport therapy develop?
My interest in sport therapy developed in 2014.
For those who aren’t familiar with sport therapy, please elaborate on what it entails.
Sport Therapy entails mainly rehab soft tissue management post injury and injury prevention maintenance. Working closely with physios, chiros, sports physicians to make sure that the athlete is kept in good shape and spirit.
Please take us through your journey and where you are now in your career.
I started treating at a local football club, Florida Albian in JHB. I had shared my vision with the coaching staff and spectators that one day I will be treating PSL football/Olympians and not too long of serving at community level my dream was answered through hard work where I started treating at an elite level.
Currently I live in Cape Town, I treat from my practice at the flagship sweat 1000 offices, Sea Point. I am on call for Stormers and Cape Town City FC when needed otherwise the players book with me at my practice. I am also studying a football medical diploma through FIFA.
As you work independently, what leadership skills do you have to ensure that you make your mark within the industry?
I think one of the most important leadership skills to have while working independently is confidence in yourself – 100 percent.
What advice would you share to a young girl who is reading your story and would also want to venture into sport therapy?
My advice would be to go in strong and read what the sport industry needs. Be the face of change to make the change. I believe that I mended a very important gap within the industry, and we need more people doing that.
Which women in sport do you draw inspiration from and why?
I draw a lot of inspiration from Minkie Tshabalala & Simoné Conley because they lead the way for women in sport and had a lot of time for me while I was branching out into the industry. Currently I do have a lot of other highly influential women on my list that are certainly doing great things in the world of sport. I would love to mention all of them, but the list would be very long – LOL! I believe the women in the sport industry now from medical, coaching, marketing and media are all doing an amazing job!
What are some of the lessons you have learnt in the sport industry that has impacted your journey in a positive way?
The lesson I learnt in the industry is to not depend on your own understanding. You must learn from other practitioners and to stay current within the scope.
What is your greatest ambition?
My greatest ambition right now is keep studying and see where it takes me. I enjoy learning and I know it will get me to the top.
Photo 1 Caption: Sport Therapist Charné Petersen is on a mission to make it to the top as she is currently studying a football medical diploma through FIFA. Photo: Supplied