“Education plays an important role in my life as a female footballer, it has laid a foundation in expanding my knowledge and way of thinking. Football is a short career and we need something to fall back on”, said Smidt as she commented on the influence of education in her life. Thalea mentioned that she is continuing with her studies and has enrolled for a Diploma in Coding and Technology through the Mamelodi Sundowns Upskillist program.
How do you balance a career as an athlete alongside studying? The Cape Town born player shared her top three pointers to get started when balancing education and football:
Learn how to prioritize
Academy star midfielder, Kabelo Moagi, who has recently matriculated spoke about the importance of education and his plans to study further, “I am intrigued by Psychology because it is a diverse and broad field. A psychology degree would allow me to pursue careers in both arts or science fields depending on where my interests lie. One day I could become both a coach and a psychologist. At a later stage, I would also be interested in studying business management.”
Rhoda opened up about what inspired her to study Sports Management and Business Administration, “What motivated me to choose these fields is my love for sports in general. I felt that I was on the right path choosing to study Sports Management especially because I want to have my own Sports Academy for boys and girls.”
Having played for Canberra United in Australia, Apollon Ladies FC in Cyprus and Dinamo Minsk in Belarus, the striker talked about how education has proven to be important in her career and life as a footballer, “having played internationally, education has helped me communicate better whilst in different countries, understanding diversity and analyzing different situations.”
The 2021 CAF Women’s Champions League winner highlighted the significance of working closely with lecturers and mentors when studying. She explained that developing a rapport with them can assist in obtaining valuable guidance on managing academic workload and effectively planning your schedule.
The ability of these football players to manage their time should relate to anyone wanting to further their education whilst possibly working or juggling any situation in life. The critical element is understanding the importance of education, the impact it can have on your life and ensuring you prioritize and find the time to achieve your goals. If the Mamelodi Sundowns players are able to achieve this despite their hectic schedule, there is nothing stopping you to achieve your dreams.