Mapaseka Mpuru’s lessons on quitting school.
Being an athlete is a short term career, yet most don’t realise that they need something to fall back on, should the sport they play fail. Although Basetsana’s Mapaseka Mpuru doesn’t regret putting her matric year on ice, she admits that she is facing a bit of difficulty coping with her school work.
Mpuru and Under-20 captain, Linda Motlhalo are some of the players who ditched school to focus on the senior women’s team last year. Several players, including the duo, used the year to trial for Vera Pauw’s squad to the Olympic Games in Rio. Unfortunately for Mpuru, she didn’t make the final Olympic squad.
The goalkeeper was dropped from the squad, only Roxanne Barker and Andile Dlamini made the final squad.
“I don’t regret because I wasn’t ready for matric then but now I am. I won’t say I regret (my decision) because what happened last year is in the past. I now have to focus on my future,” says Mpuru. The TuksSport School learner is now repeating matric and still has to balance school and sport.
“For me it’s a bit of a disadvantage because now I have to go through work we did in Grade 11. I feel like I’ve lost out on some concepts. I need to work harder than everyone else because the other kids still have the basics while I still need to get on that level again. For me it’s very tough,” tells he 19-year old who is part of the SA U20 Women’s National team that is currently trying to qualify for next year’s FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
Coach Maude Khumalo’s Basetsana are hoping to qualify for the global competition for the first time. Only the Under-17s (Bantwana) have represented the country on the global stage in 2010. Beating Namibia convincingly in the first leg of the qualifiers isn’t a sign that they will have it easier in the next round of the qualifiers. Khumalo and her assistant, Simphiwe Dludlu will have to work on a structure for the team, especially in defence to make Mpuru’s job easier.
Basetsana head coach, Maude Khumalo is hoping to make history by qualifying the first Basetsana team for the Fifa World Cup.