Sasol League Masterclass shaping future professional players with Thembi Kgatlana

The Sasol Banyana Banyana striker and captain Thembi Kgatlana addressed a room of excited aspiring footballers at the Sasol League Championship Masterclass hosted by Sasol. Thembi, who was also part of the Sasol League before making it to professional football, spoke about how she kept on believing in her dreams and how she had to sacrifice many things to get to where she is today. “As a football player you must be able to sacrifice a lot of things to get far. You must be able to sacrifice your family, sacrifice your friends, sacrifice your national country for a foreign country to achieve your dreams. With everything you do, you must never allow an opportunity to pass you because it was not what you expected”.

The footballers were also graced by the presence of the South African women’s Under-20 coach Maude Khumalo who encouraged the athletes to have the right attitude for the sport. “If you are passionate about football, you need to change your attitude towards it, the teams that did not make it to the final today must go back home and check if they had the right attitude towards the games,” said Maude.

Sasol Banyana Banyana coach, Desire Ellis was also present at the event, and she also added that discipline and the right attitude play a big part in achieving your dreams. The footballers were spoiled with signed copies of Thembi Kgatlana’s Strike a Rock book and the coaches received Desiree Ellis’s Magic-from Saltwater to the 2023 World cup to encourage them to stay in the game. The Masterclass plays part of an important activity in the weeklong Sasol League National Championship as it encourages young footballers to widen their horizons and believe in their dreams.

“We wanted the young aspiring footballers to have a feel of what success looks like when you put in the hard work, through Thembi’s story who also played in the Sasol League. Coach Maude’s testimony of resilience was meant to encourage the athletes to stay the course, because she had also played professional football before she became a coach of a team that played in the Sasol League in addition to also coaching Basetsana”, said the Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorship, Nozipho Mbatha.

The teams that will be playing in the final match of the Sasol League National Championship left the room ready to go battle it out for the top honours while the two teams that lost in the semifinal matches were inspired to take key learnings from their performance and return next year with new zeal.