Victory for working athletes

Victory for working athletes

Claude Moshiywa (38) became the 1st South African male since 1992 to win the “Up” run (from Durban to Pietermaritzburg) of the iconic 90km Comrades Marathon on 2nd June 2013. What made this run so extraordinary is that Claude in not a full time athlete unlike most of the leading runners who compete in events of this nature. He is in fact a full time employee in the catering division of a leading South African Bank. The 2015 women’s race was won by Caroline Wostmann, a chartered accountant, management accounting and finance lecturer, wife and mother of 2!  Proof that it is possible to have dual career aspirations and succeed in the competitive world of professional sport.

To achieve in both his careers, Claude and his family have had to make a number of sacrifices but with victory in June 2013 these sacrifices paid off. It takes a great deal of discipline to get up at 3am most days of the week to train before completing a day’s work and then train again in the evening. Planning and time management are integral to getting the balance right. In addition, there is a support group with whom athletes work to achieve their goals so teamwork plays an important role. Other key attributes that contribute to this kind of achievement are perseverance, motivation, patience, flexibility, self-control, performing under pressure and mental toughness. All of these competencies are sought by organisations seeking to employ dedicated and committed employees, so the lessons learned on the road are easily transferred to the work environment and both parties benefit.

International research has shown that a balanced approach to a sporting life enhances success on the sports field and there is an increasing trend towards professional athletes from across the sporting spectrum engaging in education and/or work whilst simultaneously pursuing their sporting dreams.

For parents and coaches of kids who show sporting potential there is no longer a need to choose between a sport and alternative career – it is possible to manage them both simultaneously. It takes desire, discipline and self-management to get it right, but the long term benefits are immeasurable. A sports career is in essence “temporary employment” and usually ends between the ages of 30 and 35 and in many instances earlier than this due to injury, lack of desired results or burnout. …..And after that there is a need to enter the job market. If you have planned for this during your sports career you are able to participate in an industry of your choice without having to go through a learning phase.

For more information on how PSC can assist your athletes in establishing a career off the field, click here. (Link to Career Coach service).

First published on 3rd June 2013, but amended on 2nd July 2015

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