Ngaka Modiri Molema Sports Confederation chairperson, Vangele Marase, is on a mission to ensure that the youth in her community has access to various sporting codes.
At the age of 6, Marase fell in love with sport and went on to present the North West province at school level.
In her position as chairperson, Marase’s mandate is to oversee that 54 federations are active and developed in five sub-districts.
Marase reveals her career highlights saying that introducing sporting codes in rural areas tops her list and her greatest ambition is to further develop facilities and resources where needed.
Speaking with Tlamelo Kganakga, Marase chats about making various sporting codes known in rural areas and accessible for young girls.
Vangele thank you for chatting to us. Please tell us about yourself and where you are from?
My name is Vangele Sylvia Marase but known as Ntswaki. I am just a simple girl who grew up in a rural village called KoiKoi where I was raised by my grandparents, while my mom was working as a domestic worker in urban areas.
When and where did your love for sport begin?
I loved sport from a young age of six. I was an athlete at school and would be selected to represent my school at national level but because of where I grew up, I would fail to attend national competitions as my grandparents did not understand why would a girl-child be involved in sport.
Government also wouldn’t help as when you are an athlete you need to get proper training, attire and so on, but I never gave up. I joined karate and netball and I was excelling.
As for netball I was chosen by my teacher to play, and I really impressed him as I would also go and represent my school at provincial level. From there, that’s when I saw that sport is my thing.
It was difficult during those times, as parents wouldn’t understand what a child is doing, and we were not able to talk or be vocal about what we love doing. I would lie at home by saying that I was going to school, but I would be going to play sport.
Please tell us about your position and mandate?
I am Chairperson of Ngaka Modiri Molema Sports Confederation. Truly speaking, this position caught me off guard, but I couldn’t refuse it, I just said, “When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no.”
My mandate is to oversee that all the 54 federations are active and are developed whereby it’s really a lot of work as those federations are all over 5 sub districts, but I’ll be working hand-in-hand with my executive members.
You are involved in the development of different sporting codes in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District. Please can you tell us more about that.
My role in development is to implement federations, and to see that the department assists all federations.
What are the sporting codes that you believe need more attention?
There are so many sporting codes and only few are known and get all the attention they need. Cycling, chess, rugby, bowling, swimming, cricket, basketball, and others need attention. Yes they are known, but not active in our districts.
Why is it important to make those sporting codes known?
It is very important as it will take our kids out of the streets, and it will reduce the influence of drugs in our towns as it will keep our youth busy and it will give our kids opportunities.
How can young girls in the area get access to the information about the different sporting codes?
By introducing sport to them at schools, having pages on social media and for the department to have workers in the community to promote sport. Do roadshows in all sub-districts, have clinics and for us to liaise with everyone who is passionate about sports.
What are the highlights of your career so far?
Introducing sporting codes that are not active in our communities and giving federations the support they need.
What setbacks have you encountered and how did you manage to overcome them?
Setbacks are there and they’ll always be there. All I’m doing to overcome them is praying for strength and wisdom from God to guide me and contacting my superiors for guidance as I learn more from them.
What are your thoughts on sports in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District and how can it be improved?
I think transparency is what is needed and hard work. Development is always the priority, as I need to see our District on the map in sport and our legends in the game must come and give back to their community.
What is your greatest ambition?
To develop and have sports facilities and resources.
Photo 1 Caption: Ngaka Modiri Molema Sports Confederation chairperson, Vangele Marase, is on a mission to ensure that the youth in her community has access to various sporting codes. Photo: Supplied