Name: Selina Munsamy
Province: KwaZulu Natal
Sports Administration Level: KZN Scorer with CSA Accreditation, Tongaat Cricket Co-Opt Executive Member & KFC Mini Cricket Coordinator
This is the second of three parts my account of a woman in a male-dominated sport, and here I talk about getting on after my biggest supporter – my mom – passed on. Click here to read part 1.
When one loses a loved one, do you ever really recover from that loss? The answer is Yes, but it takes time and only you can heal your pain. As per my previous blog when my mum passed on, grief consumed my life. Boy oh boy did it hurt. I was angry with myself for having wanted my cricket career so badly that I didn’t spend enough time with her until that last month of her life on earth. That pain is the worst kind, it tears your heart to shreds and rips your soul apart.
My mum was my biggest supporter of what I wanted in life and that was cricket. Her favourite International Cricketer was Curtly Ambrose.
Being mum she had nicknamed him “Cutely Ambrose” and off course she adored Jonty Rhodes.
So honestly speaking was me following my dreams all really worth it, because if I didn’t want my cricket career so badly I could have been there for the most important person in my life.
I could have made her smile more and done something to ease her pain but I wasn’t and that tore me apart every time I remembered it. So my punishment was take away the one thing that could ignite my soul and that was my Cricket Career as Scorer and Mini Cricket Coordinator. I stayed affiliated to KZN Scorer’s Association but I took no part in the games that where scheduled.
Grief ate through my Soul
I walked around with a smile but I died a 1000 times inside. My grief literally ate through my soul. I forgot what it was like to have a normal day. During that time the person that got me started in scoring for my club, Hodren Naidoo (ex Tongaat Captain and Maidstone Cricket Club Captain), had told me that I needed to get back into the swing of things and everything will be okay and that mum would want this for me.
I was like “yeah whatever”.
I would literally want to scream at him when he used to tell me stuff like that. But he was a good friend that only wanted what was best for me and that is what I see now when I look back at how angry I used to be.
I started to miss everything about cricket and I wished I could go back and do what I loved most but I did not. I just continued to punished myself for something that was not my fault but rather God’s Will in life.
Coach’s Winning Moment Changes a Life
The 1st moment that sparked my soul again came when I saw Dinesha Devnarain win her CSA Provincial Coach of the Year Award. I missed being with Dinesha on the field, I missed the excitement of U19 Girls National Week, I missed the girls and the game itself.
But I still continued to be hard towards myself for wanting it all again. My 2nd and defining moment came when I met a child in the supermarket and he said “Hey I remember you, you were my mini cricket coach. I play for Maidstone now and we won all our junior games so far”. I just smiled and wished him well. But inside I felt like the sun peeped out from behind the clouds.
Just hearing this child tell me he remembered who I was and that that he now plays for my club, made me so very happy. I missed my club, I certainly missed scoring and I most certainly missed being that coach that inspired a child to play some cricket. I craved to be back with my club. Maidstone Cricket Club mind you is not just a club to me, they are family.
Ladies got to work harder
I always said being female I always had work harder and being the only female, I was always treated with respect and taken care off. All for one and one for all and that was what I wanted to be part off again. I wanted my cricket life again but 1st I had some soul searching to do.
I sat myself down one evening and asked myself, “Would this be what mum would have wanted for me? Would she be happy knowing I was unhappy for giving up my passion for cricket just because I felt I could have been there more often for her? Could I have changed anything and made her stay longer with us?
“Am I really going to live the rest of my life craving my cricket career and killing myself slowly with that want and desire? Do I want to miss out on inspiring a child to play cricket?”
The answers were “No mum would not want any of that for me, she would want me to be happy and to follow my heart and my dreams. No I could not have changed anything, it was GOD will and I needed to accept that”.
“Yes I want to coach a child and inspire him/her, Yes I want to score my games, Yes I want to go on National Week and Yes I want my club AGAIN.”
But it is not that easy to just get back into the game after a two and half year break. If I thought working twice as hard 1st time round was difficult, this time was going to be much tougher and it was going to test me in more ways than one…….
Click here to read Part 1: Selina Munsamy, a Cricket SA-accredited Scorer for KZN Cricket, a Tongaat Cricket Co-Opt Executive Member & KFC Mini Cricket Coordinator, begins her story in this first instalment of the experiences of a South African woman in sport.
Click here to read Part 3: Selina’s final instalment on her 3-part series on Life’s Success wraps in an acknowledgment of the difficulties to be faced, with thanks for her supporters, and an inspirational shout-out to women in the journey.