The man who likes to wear many hats is an excellent way to describe the Tuks footballer Katlego Motlhatsang.
It can be a challenge. On most days, Motlhatsang battles to find enough minutes to do what needs to be done. There is always a new idea to investigate or a goal to pursue.
His forever quest to be the best he can started when he was still a laaitie playing football in the streets of Pretoria West. At the same time, his mom had a dream of her son one day being a university graduate. Her hopes were not in vain.
By the end of last year, Motlhatsang completed his honours studies in Sport and Recreation Management. He is already got plans to do his masters. Motlhatsang is also a partner in a clothing firm and has dreams of making a difference in young lives. And still, he has not given up on his football dreams.
ALSO READ: Getting to know Motlhatsang
The secret to all of this is finding a balance in life. Although he has been passionate about sports since he can remember, it was never for Motlhatsang only about being a hero for a few minutes after a game.
“I believe there is no need to limit one. I want all. That is being professional in my sport as well as my career. It does not help that you earn a massive salary as an athlete, but you have no means to manage your money.”
That is why the Tuks footballer wants to get involved in sports at a grassroots level.
“My aim is to get youngsters to take control of their lives from a young age. My mom might have dreamt about me getting a degree, but in the end, it was my choice to do so. It is important to finish what you start out to do.
“Sport is as far as I am concerned the ideal way to guide young learners to make the right choices. It is the discipline you learn through sports that in the end stand you to good stead in everything else you do.”
The one thing that concerns Motlhatsang is that learners at rural and township schools might be at a disadvantaged when they eventually get to compete in university sports or other more competitive levels. It is something he wants to research when doing his masters.
Motlhatsang credits his dad for passion for football.
“At first, I had dreams of being competitive in athletics. Football was only something I did for fun playing in the streets. Everything changed when my dad started to take me along when the likes of Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns play.
“When you absorb something with your eyes, it gives you a new perspective. Having the privilege to watch the ‘big guys’ play is what ignited my passion for football.
“I started to play at Tuks from under-14 level and went through the club’s ranks up until playing for AmaTuks [between 2017-19 in the National First Division]. I even had a short spell as a junior rookie at Kaizer Chiefs. The plan was to give it one last go this year to try and get a professional contract.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, however, forced me to change my plans. I am now going to go for it next year. It does not matter whether I succeed to get a contract or not. I am going to be involved with all sports until I am an old man whether it is by playing or the clothing industry, or helping youngsters.”
PLAYER PROFILE Katlego Motlhatsang
Full name: Katlego Motlhatsang
Born: 3/10/1995 in Mopyane village
Varsity Football experience: 2015, 2017 (winner), 2018, 2019
Studied: BA Sport and Recreation Management (Honours – 2019)
Article courtesy Wilhelm de Swardt/TuksSport Media