Table Tennis Coach, Nkosinathi Xaba, is a true definition of a champion supporter for women and girls in sport as he aims to develop his own sports center in rural Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal.
In 2004, Xaba developed a passion for Table Tennis after having played football throughout primary school. Since then, he has not looked back and is taking every opportunity to learn and grow in the sport.
As coach of the Zululand Table Tennis Club, Xaba is not only using the platform to develop women and girls, however, it is also an opportunity to combat GBV and many other social ills within his community.
His mission is to help young girls build a better and sustainable future and he hopes to achieve his goal by creating awareness for his players.
Speaking with Tlamelo Kganakga, Xaba reveals the challenges he faces to keep his team financially afloat and shares his greatest ambition.
Nkosinathi, thank you for chatting to us. Please tell us about yourself and where you are from?
I’m from a rural area, Belgrade in Pongola, in KwaZulu-Natal. I’m a hard-working person who always promotes skill, transfer and learning through sport. I believe sport can unite a divided nation. Through my hard work, I believe I can do more to change the lives, particularly of the women and girls out there.
Where did your love for sports begin?
I started being involved in sports from a young age. At 13, I played soccer for my primary school and for the community club. When I got to high school in 2004, I began to fall in love with Table Tennis and then in 2009 I started coaching the sport.
You are playing your part to develop girls in your community. Please tell us more about that.
I develop young girls in my community for table tennis. I have helped to produce girls who are playing at a District, Provincial and National level. I recruit, train, and place them in various competitions.
What local competitions do your players take part in?
As mentioned, we take part in many tournaments from local to national. Our team is called Zululand Table Tennis and we take part in the Salga Games and school sports at district level.
Why is it important to have a girl’s program in your area?
It’s important to have a girl’s program because we are fighting against GBV through sport and they learn so many things such as self defence, being physically fit, mental health and better living through sport.
What are you hoping to achieve with this initiative?
I’m hoping to one day have a sports center where I can recruit more girls in our area. I’m aiming to reduce the statistics of HIV, GBV, domestic violence and provide a better life for our young girls.
What setbacks have you encountered so far?
Equipment, training facilities and stipends are always a challenge because I’m struggling to achieve our set goals.
What is your greatest ambition for yourself and the team?
To be part of the SA team and to be able to get a chance to obtain funding to maintain our current team.
What do you think if gsport and its impact on women’s sports?
gsport is doing a great job and I believe through gsport we can achieve a lot as our girls can be exposed to many scouts.
Photo 1 Caption: Table Tennis Coach, Nkosinathi Xaba, is a true definition of a champion supporter for women and girls in sport as he aims to develop his own sports center in rural Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: Supplied