Interview with our Sports Star

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Interview with our Sports Star

Published on: December 12th, 2021

us what made you choose sports as a career?  “I grew up playing soccer, my dream was to be a pro soccer player but I broke my leg, and sadly, that was the end of Thomas the player. Luckily I could still follow my passion using a different path. And this was the beginning of Thomas the coach. My passion for sports was the reason I chose this career”.

What formal qualification did you attain to enter this field?  “At the beginning I had a love of and passion for sports, and I completed little sports workshops at the age of 18, in Sports Administration and Soccer coaching.  I did it with SASA-South Africa Soccer Association. (Today called SAFA). These workshops were my foundation.  But what made the big difference to my status was the Sports Management Qualification that I did in 1995 at Boston- this kick-started my career as a professional in the field.”

What does your job entail? “My job entails developing the sports programs in accordance with the Afrika Tikkun strategy. Train the trainer in Sports, Life skills for players, fundraising for the programs and developing partnerships with the Federations of the sports that we compete in”.

Tell our readers what an average day is like for you? “I start at my desk either at the Head office, or the Centre where I will be working on that day.  I check emails and plan for my day. Then I meet with the team to go plan their day, as far as coaching the kids in the afternoon.  We like to review the last session, and plan forward as we try Thomas Taole – Subject Matter Expert to do better than the last sessions”. In Sports at Afrika Tikkun

Taole tells us that what he enjoys the most is travelling – his is not a static job. “It’s also meeting different people, youth, and sports stars. And I have great flexibility in my job – I work 9-5 but in different spaces and each day is different. On top of all of this – I love what I do!” according to Taole he has hit the jackpot –“ Getting paid to do what you love is so awesome – basically this is my hobby, so getting paid to do this is a bonus!”

We asked Taole if there were any negative aspects to his job. “Well, this is a competitive industry. In addition, not everyone takes sports seriously. The government and professional clubs can treat athletes and managers with no respect- compare this to Europe and the USA and we can see where South Africa is lacking”.

Taole lists highlights of his career as travelling to the UK with a team of triathletes. Also, “winning a race in USA with another team was extraordinary moment. My graduation in Sports Education was definitely something to treasure at Boston Campus. The first in the family to achieve that. “

What does Taole believe are the three most important attributes that his position requires? Fitness of body and mind, patience, and subject knowledge.  “You need to know your subjects so knowledge is the key and that is where Sports Education, such as the options at Boston, is fundamental”.

Taole says that his job is to “empower young and old in sports development, and to identify talent in the youth – and above all – to keep them active for life”. What are his life tips?

  • You need both experience as well as training in this field.
  • You need to be a people’s person with great communication skills.
  • Contribute to fundraising activities as well as your day job – I am the Sports Director of the Organization so I need to ensure my salary!
  • As some wise man once said, “Be passionate about what you do and you will never have to work another day”.
  • Sometimes talent alone is not enough – get a Higher Qualification in Admin, Coaching and/or Sports. This country has high unemployment; you need to have something more to offer.

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