Madeleine Khunou: A Rock and Role Model as a Mom and Coach to Alicia and Lesedi

Madeleine Khunou is the a rock and role model as both a mom and coach to her daughters, former Momentum gsport Award School Sport Star Award winners, Lesedi and Alicia Khunou. All Photos: Supplied

A mum is the most selfless person on the planet who loves her children before they are even born. She always loves and supports them unconditionally. Madeleine Khunou is one such person. She set the bar of what it takes to be a mum and coach to both her daughters, former Momentum gsport Award winners, Lesedi and Alicia Khunou.

Having been a statistic of teenage pregnancy, Madeleine made a promise to herself that she will exploit the opportunity of that setback to effect positive change not just for her girls but for all other young girls. As a coach to her daughters and others like them, Ms. Khunou discusses different life-changing topics and drills down on discipline. This has allowed them to make more informed and better life choices for themselves.

She does not emphasise being either a coach or mum, because both have allowed her to continue to build character and individual identities. “I have brought in diversification in the program by sourcing the assistance of a mindful coach, strength and conditioning coach, and running coach, just for them to experience other coaches in the training program,” she says.

Lesedi, who was crowned 2022 SuperSport School Sport Star, is Madeleine’s eldest daughter, whom she has coached since she was in grade six, says her mum’s ability to balance both roles as coach and mum while offering tough love and unwavering support when needed is what makes her so special.

“Having my mum as my coach has had a profound impact on my sports career. She has provided me with a unique blend of personal support and professional guidance. She has been harder on me as a coach than she is as a mum, and that is only because she pushes me to reach my full potential in sport,” said Lesedi.

Choosing to be a coach was something Madeleine mulled over until she decided she wanted to show up and show that there are many children of colour that can excel in field events at the highest level. “I do not believe in the word “cannot”; I only want to hear “I CAN”. When something gives me sleepless nights then I know I need to do something about it,” commented Madeleine.

Watching both her daughters receive national colours and represent South Africa on the international stage will always be her highlight not only as a coach but as a very proud mum.

“Hearing the echoes of “Nkosi Sikelele iAfrica” filling the atmosphere of Zambia and Trinidad and Tobago, with the South African flag waving to the world in honour of my daughter hit differently. My being is filled with utmost gratitude and I am convinced that this is the genesis of my duty to motivate and guide the youth of South Africa through sport,” she said.

Alicia, the youngest of two daughters and the recipient of the 2023 SuperSport School Sport Star Award at the Momentum gsport Awards, admires her mum for always giving her the truth irrespective of her being her mum. “She stuck with me when things were difficult. Her coaching is very different and it works for me. She is harder on me as an athlete than a daughter,” she laughs.

Madeleine believes that a firm foundation of discipline, ethics, principles, and values will withstand the storms of life in society and the world. “Let us put 95% of building into this child project, that is meeting teachers halfway and it will benefit the child into kickstarting their independent life after schooling. We must also not forget to address the issue of dress code of girls in training and competitions,” she commented.

Her dedication, expertise, and unconditional support both as a mum and coach to Lesedi and Alicia have left them with a profound love and admiration for a remarkable woman that chose to stand up against all odds and show them that life can be beautiful and filled with opportunities if you work hard enough.

A mother’s love is the beacon that lights our way through life’s journey and Madeleine has done exactly that for her daughters. A shiny example of a mum and coach that is both rock and role model to her daughters and everyone around her.


Photo Caption: Madeleine Khunou is the a rock and role model as both a mom and coach to her daughters, former Momentum gsport Award School Sport Star Award winners, Lesedi and Alicia Khunou. All Photos: Supplied

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About the Author:

Selina Munsamy

Selina Munsamy

I am a sports enthusiast. I am newly appointed KZN Women's Cricket Manager for the 2019/2020 season. My passion lies in cricket, technically I live and breathe cricket. I am a Scorer affiliated to KZN Cricket Scorer's Association. I also coach mini cricket for Tongaat Cricket Union. Live, Laugh and Love with Sport.

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