Khetsiwe has been making quite a splash in the media recently, including a quarter-page interview by The Star journalist Linda Mbongwa and photographer Bongiwe Mchunu in the Joburg-based daily newspaper’s sports pages.
And not without reason: ‘Kay’ (as she’s known to her friends) is currently one of South Africa’s top-ranked divers, and her coach Dominique Philippopoulos has said that she’s good enough to go to the Olympics.
Khetsiwe was kind enough to speak to gsport about her love of diving, her average day, and what the April theme of Responsibility and the concept of femininity mean to her.
Responsibility Focus: 5 minutes with Khetsiwe Morgan, The smallest splash, but the biggest impact!
What is your full name?
Do you have a nickname?
How old are you?
17 turning 18 on the 12th of October.
Where were you born?
Where do you live now?
Sandton, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
What is your average day like?
During the week I go to school from 8h-15h then I stay at home to do my homework whilst waiting for diving training that starts at 17h and finishes at 20h.
Then I get home, have dinner and do the rest of my homework.
On weekends I try spend time with my friends and watch a bit of TV because I don’t have time to during the week.
I also have to go to Pretoria to do platform (10 metre) training, because it’s the closest one to where I stay.
Do you go to school? If so, where, and what are you studying?
I go to Kingsmead College and I’m in matric.
Why is sport important to you?
Sport keeps me fit and healthy, and diving is a sport I’ve always been interesting in since I was 9.
Sport motivates you to be competitive in what ever you do, so you can perform to the best of your abilities.
How do you find the time to fit sport into your life?
To be honest I find it really hard, because there are many sacrifices I have to make in order to fit my sport in my life.
I just have to make sure everything revolves around diving.
Do you maintain a fitness regime, or a special diet, in addition to participating in your sport?
I should be maintaining a special diet that I was given by my nutritionist in order to be really competitive internationally but…I can never stick to it.
You excel in diving: What is it about diving that attracts you?
The fact that you have to think about thousands of things in a split second to get the perfect dive makes it an intriguing sport.
Not many people have the ability to do this sport, because it requires coordination, strength and flexibility.
How does a diver compete?
Diving is an individual sport, but synchronised diving is beginning to become increasingly popular.
Unfortunately not many competitions are held in South Africa due to the lack of interest in this sport, however, numerous competitions are held overseas, approximately 3 a month.
There are also Grand Prix events held during the summer holidays, which are selections for major competitions such as the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games.
Judges scores are given out of 10 and the scores you get are multiplied by your degree of difficulty (how hard your dive is).
From what height do you dive, what is the name of the dive you best perform, and what is it’s difficulty rating?
I dive from 1m, 3m and 10m (platforms). My best dive is forward 3-and-a-half summersaults on 10m, and the degree of difficulty is quite high…it’s 3.
Where have you toured as a sportswoman?
I’ve been to England, Brazil, Egypt, Malaysia and Canada.
What is your best diving achievement?
Winning the competition in Egypt, and winning SA Nationals.
What is your greatest goal as a diver?
I’d love to go to the Olympic Games in 2008, (to be) held in Beijing.
What is the most important thing South African women have achieved?
Achieving recognition in the working and sport sectors.
What does femininity mean to you?
I think it’s about woman being both beautiful and intelligent.
A woman should always be pampered, enjoy the feeling of looking good and never feel intimidated.
gsport’s April theme is Responsibility: What does that mean to you, and what effect has it’s application had on your life?
It means being mature about the choices you have to make in life and having to deal with the consequences of the incorrect choices that you make.
Responsibility has taught me discipline in terms of my commitments, to diving as well as balancing my social life and my sport.
Note: Khetwise Morgan, her trainer Dominique Philippopoulos and diving partner Nicholas Pawley (who also has good prospects of qualifying for the Olympics), have set up an sms-donation line, where interested parties may make donations to their costs.
An sms with the subject line ‘DIVING” sent to 36321 will cost you R5.00, and the fund’s proceeds will be applied equally to the travelling costs of Khetsiwe, Nicholas and Dominique, incurred in their trips to Canada and the USA in May for those country’s Grand Prix, and for the World Qualifiers and Olympics in Beijing 2008, should they be successful.