SPAR Proteas assistant coach, Dumisani Chauke, has been lighting up social media with her daily workout videos as she aims to keep South Africans inspired to remain in good shape during lockdown.
Whether you have gym equipment or a brick in your garden, Chauke encourages her followers to use what is available in their homes to take part in her workout sessions.
gsport’s Celine Abrahams chats to inspirational Chauke about keeping in high spirits while stuck behind closed doors.
Coach Dumi, in these uncertain times, how are you managing to keep yourself in high spirits?
What I have been doing to keep myself in high spirits during these uncertainties is reading, going outside to exercise, getting some fresh air, getting some sunshine into the system. I’m making sure that I stay focused on my goals and dreams.
On the programme, yes it might have changed but I have to stay focused regularly and make sure that I am preparing myself for what is to come.
With everyone locked behind closed doors, what hobbies have you picked up?
Well, I haven’t picked up any new hobbies. I still read, I’ve always been a reader, I love it! It’s something that assists me in coping and it also empowers me as I learn a lot through my reading. One other thing that I have also been doing is cooking which I really enjoy.
I love cooking and now that we don’t have any fast-food outlets, we have no choice but to cook. So, I get my son to join me and he decides what we will cook for lunch and we have fun in the kitchen.
I also enjoy sewing. I’ve got a sewing machine so now and then I will make something small for the kids or I’ll make myself a top or a dress. For me it’s reading, cooking and sewing!
Training for everyone has to be done in backyards or using equipment around the house to workout. How has this been for you?
Lucky for me I’ve got a few training equipment’s here at home. I’ve got resistance bands, free weights, a skipping rope and cones/markers, so that is what I’ve been using.
But, one thing that I’ve also tried to speak or tell people about training at home is that you use what is available. If you don’t have weights use bricks, if you don’t have a 5kg dumbbell, get a bottle of water or a 2litre bottle and fill it with water or sand. It’s about being creative and knowing that anything around the house can be used.
What does your training programme consist of?
My training programme that I have been posting on social media is simple and practical. It’s stuff that anyone can do because I have been receiving requests from coaches that coach primary schools, high schools and senior girls wanting to know what they can do for their girls who are at home and they don’t need a lot of space and a lot of equipment and that is what I have done.
We have just tailored everything down to make it practical, simple and easy that people don’t need to read a manual to do the exercises. Sometimes I explain the exercises, or I do it myself so they can see what needs to be done. Remember I am a bit slow (laughs) so I encourage everyone to do these exercises at a higher intensity.
We have seen you share some of your training sessions on your social media pages. Why have you decided to share these sessions with your followers?
I believe and it was quite evident from the phone calls and messages that I was getting that people were lost, they were stuck and I saw it as an opportunity for me to assist, to shed some light, to guide and help those that don’t know what to do.
I guess I made it my responsibility to make sure that anyone and everyone who is willing to watch my videos, who is willing to listen to them have something positive to do.
What programmes have you and the rest of the SPAR Proteas technical team given to the players to stay on top of their game during this period?
The SPAR Proteas do belong on a system so those that are based in South Africa are given their own programmes but those that are based in the UK and Australia are given programmes from their respective clubs.
Yes, they do have the option of following the programme that is being done here in South Africa. We are offering support as well in letting them know that if they need anything, if they need any assistance, they must let us know because we do understand that this is also a hard period for them because of all the uncertainty.
They don’t know when the leagues are going to resume, they don’t know what is going to happen next, so we need to keep them fit and ready for any competition that might come up and make sure that they stay positive, motivated and inspired.
What advice would you give to all athletes as this is a trying time for them having to train on their own?
I would tell them to find something that you enjoy doing. Yes, you enjoy being out in the sun but right now that is not available. What is the next best thing that you can do? Go outside, get some fresh air, get some sunshine, be active even if it means training two sessions a day to keep yourself active and awake because we don’t want athletes sitting around, watching TV, wasting their time.
Also, with the physical part you need to add the mental and emotional part to it, you need to stay engaged in the game by watching old games, watch yourself, your opponents, study yourself and your team, so that when you get back onto the playing field you aren’t ten feet behind but you are on it and you’re not playing catch-up.
What has been the most rewarding for you as you have this time to reflect and plan for the future?
One of the most rewarding things that I have taken away from the lockdown is time spent at home. Usually during this time, we are always running around preparing for the season but this time around nature has decided that it’s time to be home and be with family.
I’ve enjoyed spending time with my kids. Waking up early in the morning with my little one and sleeping late nights with the older one and playing games around in the house. We play 30 seconds, cards, PlayStation and then we go outside, and we exercise. There’s nothing like time at home with the family.
In terms of my plans and my aspirations personally, I am grateful to have this opportunity to reflect on how far I’ve come and what I want to achieve. Also, I ask myself some hard questions in terms of the stuff that I want to achieve, what am I doing now to make sure that I am laying bricks down every day and I guess that is one of the hardest things when you are a go-getter.
Photo 1 Caption: SPAR Proteas assistant coach, Dumisani Chauke, has been lighting up social media with her daily workout videos as she aims to keep South Africans inspired to remain in good shape during lockdown. Photo: TUT Sport