South Africa Under 19 players, Refilwe Moncho, Ayanda Hlubi, Madison Landsman and Jenna Evans completed their matric, while they were in the midst of preparations for the recently concluded ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup.
Being a student-athlete comes with many challenges, but these young stars shattered barriers as they obtained their matric certificates.
It took discipline, passion, dedication and setting realistic goals to be where they are today and despite the challenges they face, they knew what lies ahead of their sporting careers.
Speaking to gsport on how they dealt with being in matric and playing sport, Refilwe Moncho said at first it was difficult but made sure she pushed through.
“At first it was difficult for me as I had a concussion and having to deal with my granny’s death, so I found it hard for me to concentrate during the first term. But, I made sure that in the 2nd term, I pushed and tried to focus on my studies. I also had to take a break from cricket for months because of my ankle injury but as I attended my rehab sessions with the help of my physio, I healed quickly then yeah, I got back on action.
“And with the support that I got from my coaches and the leadership team, made me come back stronger. So, I’ll like to thank my coaches Dinesha (Devnarain), Reuben and my family for helping me come back stronger because I never thought I’ll come back this stronger.”
Madison Landsman, who earned whoping four distinctions, also put on a stellar performance during the tournament but had to juggle between being in matric and do well on the field.
“I just found a way to balance them both. Both academics and cricket are very important to me, so I always made sure that I put in the necessary time for both. This often meant a lot of late nights, some complete all-nighters, but in the end it was all worth it, I got the privilege to represent South Africa in a World Cup, and I was happy with 4 distinctions to end off matric.”
Echoing, Landsman’s sentiments, Ayanda Hlubi said: “It was very difficult because I had to adjust, I had to make sure I do all my school work and study at the same time to make sure I don’t miss my any of my trainings. Also write my workloads and homework too.”
Very big on her academics, Jenna Evans used her school hours very wisely, knowing that after school she pays special attention to her sport.
“I had to manage my time very well to make sure I kept up with my academics. I am very big on my academics so I made sure that I did as much work as possible in school hours so that after school could be allocated for sport. The sports kept me happy to go home late at night and complete the little bit of homework I had left or the bit of studying I needed to do. It made me calmer, knowing that I didn’t have as much to do, and I could put a lot of focus into my sport.”
The rising stars shared their pearls of wisdom on how to student-athletes can deal with being in matric this year.
Refilwe Moncho: Make a good schedule for yourself, but most importantly take good care of your mental health if there’s something you struggling with, don’t be scared to ask for help.
Madison Landsman: To keep on top of your work from the beginning. It’s a lot of studying and reading, leaving it to the last minute will only make it more stressful than it already is. You’ll only get out what you put in, it’s the last stretch of high school, so make sure you put in enough work so that in the end you can look back and be happy with what you’ve accomplished.
Ayanda Hlubi: My advice is that you should focus on the first term and learn to multitask between school work and sport and make sure you give your best in both and don’t put pressure on yourself.
*manage your time well. Plan things out. Make sure you know exactly what you’re doing every week. Write it down.
*make sure to get enough sleep because learning when you are tired becomes harder and that then affects your ability to perform in your sport.
*Eat well to ensure maximum learning and performance ability.
*make sure to keep some time to spend with other friends out of sport. Different friendships improve emotional intelligence which plays a role in sport, especially cricket.
*make sure to have fun and make the most of your matric year. It’s hard but you have the opportunity to make it bearable and fun.