Thursday, December 3, 2020

Alpha Squash Academy fails to retain girls in sports

Alpha Squash Academy founder and coach Koketso Ntshebe says it is difficult to retain the girl child in sports.

He says that as an academy which focuses on girls, it is hard for continuity and consistency in the school’s beginners and intermediate players.

While the academy started in 2014 as an outreach program for girls in sport, it has since evolved to include both males and females, youth and adults.

“The School has trained more than 30 girls at the least but it has lost some and retained some, not all became good players or even made it to the national team. Unfortunately, with girls if they aren’t good enough, they quit and find interest in other things. It is a fine margin if they are not winning by age 15, 16 years. It is really hard to keep them. However, with our little success we have gotten 12 female athletes from our program to the national squads,” Ntshebe noted.

When he started the academy, Ntshebe, who is a former Senior and Junior national team High Performance squash coach, says he wanted to develop girls in the sport.

Ntshebe explains that the main aim for rooting for female athletes is because Botswana does not have any professional woman squash player.

This however is not an easy undertaking as he says it takes a lot of commitment from both athletes and coaches.

According to the racket master, the mandate of coaches is to prepare athletes for high level competition and to develop them for the national team.

“Leaders can only demand a good effort from players daily but they can demand the best from themselves daily,” he says.

“Athletes need to improve by at least one percent and instructors need to coach the process not the outcome. Being a better player than yesterday is what coaches want from players,” says Ntshebe.

“If players cannot volunteer to come then the school has not benefited. But if they do not pump the brakes on their career and the players continues on camp, the academy benefits,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Ntshebe says that Alpha academy has partnered with Camp Primary school for free training.

He however says the academy continues to recruit all primary school pupils and enrollment is open to all children from the age of five throughout the year.  

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The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.