St Dominic Catholic School for Girls U10 netball coach, Molebogeng Moroke is passionate about sport and developing the next generation of South African stars.
Hailing from Seabe Village in Mpumalanga, Moroke is also a secretary for an NPO called Prunitians Legacy sports Academy which offers girls cricket programmes to schools in Soweto.
Her love for sport began in primary school when she joined the netball team in Grade 2, which she says: “Little did I know that it will be the starting point of my love for sports and particularly netball.”
Ever since, Moroke has played an active role in the sport both on and off the court and aims to continue playing her part.
Chatting about the 2023 Netball World Cup, Moroke says she is looking forward to the opportunities that are going to open for netball lovers and for sports personnel that will work on the event.
As a supporter of gsport, she hopes to one day receive an award on the Momentum gsport Awards stage.
Speaking with Tlamelo Kganakga, Moroke reveals the women in sport she draws inspiration from and bouncing back from setbacks.
Thank you for chatting to us! Who is Molebogeng?
Thank you so much for inviting me. Molebogeng Moroke is a 22-year-old girl who was born in Johannesburg, but originally from Mpumalanga – a village called Seabe under the Dr J.S Moroka municipality.
I attended primary school in Johannesburg at Parkhurst Primary and went to Parktown High School for Girls. I hold a BA degree in Sport Psychology and a BCom Honours in Sport Management both from the University of Johannesburg. I am a intro/extrovert, a reserved person, loves nature and listening to spiritual music as my spiritual wellbeing is a very important aspect of my life. I love reading and a very easy-going person who likes to interact with others.
Lastly, I LOVE sports!
How did you develop a passion for sport?
Growing up I was generally an active young girl. My love for sports began back when I was in primary. I got introduced to netball in grade 2, where I voluntarily raised my hand up when my teacher asked who would like to play netball and I had no clue whatsoever what netball was at the time. Little did I know that it will be the starting point of my love for sports and particularly netball. As the years went by in primary, I also participated in athletics. I was very fast back then where I enjoyed relay and long distance running. That is when my love for sports began.
How did you get involved in coaching at St Dominic’s Catholic School for Girls?
I have played netball for the past 13 years and internally I feel spiritually satisfied from being a player on court. I felt that now it’s the time for me to be off court as a player and on court as a coach. Simply because I feel that the knowledge, skills, and techniques that netball gave me it is time for me to pass that onto the other upcoming players.
Getting to being a coach at St Dominic’s – I just saw their vacancy on LinkedIn and I applied for it. I told myself that I have nothing to lose in applying. And so, towards the end of February early March I got an email inviting me to an interview at the school.
I must say I was really shocked that I got a response, and 3 days later after the interview I got offered the coaching job. Being a coach of the U10 team is really a great journey thus far. Being with them on court simply reminded me of when I started to play netball, that sports is all about having fun, being happy, forgetting the other things in life and just being in the moment.
I really do pour out my gratitude to Ms. Alica Venter for giving me this opportunity as she really believed in me and gave me a chance to start my coaching career somewhere. As graduates and new personnel within this industry we all just need only one person to believe in us for us to showcase what we have got. That is how you empower someone and Ms Venter did just that with me.
You studied BCom Honours Sports Management and BA Sports Psychology. How important is it to have an academic background when in sports?
It’s very important to have an academic background as it expands ones knowledge. Sports is a very broad industry with many ways of maneuvering within it. So, the academic background becomes the foundation for one entering the sports industry. It also enlightens one to what is out there in the industry, which gives one many ways of shaping themselves.
What has been a setback in your career and what did you learn from it?
Firstly Covid-19 became the biggest setback in my career. In 2020 I was in my final year for my BA Sport psychology degree, and 2021 I was studying towards my BCom Honours Sport Management degree. It really affected my honours degree as practical’s were not done as per usual as events, like varsity cups both rugby and soccer as well as other university sport events where we as sport management students gain the foundation and practicality of how exactly do our degrees, we are studying towards would be offering us in the real world of sports.
This however taught me the power of volunteering.
Currently I am volunteering as a secretary for an NPO called Prunitians Legacy sports Academy and we offer a girl’s cricket program to schools in Soweto. I really do pour out my gratitude to Mr Nkosana Mguwe, who is the founder of the NPO. He indeed took a risk with me considering that I am fresh from varsity with little experience.
Secondly not having a mentor who can groom you became a setback within my career. One thing I have learnt from these setbacks is that it is important to engage more with other people within the sport industry, both experienced and those starting out.
I’ve also learnt the importance reading beyond what one studies, because it also becomes a source of motivation and a way to gain more knowledge about the sports industry.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career so far has been hosting the Reclifestyle women in sport series which was spearheaded by the founder Katleho Baisang. Secondly it would be being the U10 netball coach at St Dominic’s. My manifestation of being off court as a player and on court as a coach has become a reality.
Thirdly, being the secretary of the NPO Prunitians Legacy Sports Academy is very fulfilling to know that as much as you are a person working behind the scenes to ensure that the girls cricket program succeeds, I really become happy when I see the events happening and the young girls enjoying playing cricket.
Who are some of the sportswomen you admire and why?
The first woman is Dr Koketjo Tsebe, because she also studied towards a degree in Sport Psychology and that is my first love. She really motivates me into doing more with this degree, and I hope one day I can meet her so that we chat more about the sport psychology route.
Secondly it would be Ms. Dumisani Chauke. Ms. Chauke is a very calm person according to my examination, but you can see the fighting energy within her. Whenever I read about her or see her on television I feel and get this positive fighting spirit, which encourages me not to give up.
Lastly, Thembi Kgatlana. I didn’t know much about the soccer player, however after reading her novel “Strike a Rock” I felt very inspired that one can be something if they have the drive within them, and know what they really want. Through Thembi’s novel I learnt the importance of having a deep relationship with your inner self in all aspects, because at the end of the day it is you who must make the move, make the decision, and take action whether the situation is allowing or not allowing.
If you could play or coach anywhere in the world, where would it be?
It would be Australia and New Zealand
What is your greatest ambition?
My greatest ambition is to be a well-rounded coach and umpire. Within this ambition the second is to make a change to young women who play netball. To motivate them to empower them, to see netball making a very impactful change within the community, particularly the community I grew up in in Mpumalanga. I believe that coaching netball, being a netball player and being in this sport specifically is my calling in this world and I believe that I can make a change and make the world a better place for the next person. I want to “I will be” your Zanele Mdodana of the future, tapping into the different professions in sports but making a positive impact. That is my ambition.
What do you think of gsport and its impact on women’s sport?
The first words that come to my mind when I think of gsport are power to women, motivation, blossoming. I remember last year (2021) when I was watching the Momentum gsport awards – seeing all the women who have worked hard on my laptop screen gave me that push and affirmation that “Molebogeng you can do it.” I remember uttering the words: “One day it will be you on that stage receiving an award.” The impact of gsport has been massive and wonderful to witness as it utters a message that “It can be done, and it will be done”.
What do you think we as media can do to amplify the coverage of women’s sport?
To have more media coverage on smaller events. You know there are a lot of women who are doing so much great work on a smaller scale and I feel that getting coverage will motivate them and affirm that what they are doing is such great work. This will motivate upcoming women who want to pursue a career in sport.
What are you looking forward to at the 2023 Netball World Cup?
I am looking forward to the vibe of having the netball world cup here in South Africa and I will get to feel what soccer supporters felt back at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. I am looking forward to seeing netball being respected even more as a sport and acknowledged.
I pray that I become a spectator or work behind the scenes at the World Cup as it would really become a great experience for me as a player, coach, and lover of the sport.
I am also looking forward to the opportunities that are going to open for netball lovers and for sport personnel’s that are working within the netball sporting code. It is time to show the country that netball is a sport that should be taken very seriously just like the big sporting codes.
Photo 1 Caption: St Dominic Catholic School for Girls U10 netball coach, Molebogeng Moroke is passionate about sport and developing the next generation of South African stars. Photo: Supplied