CHOCCO URGES SPORTSMEN TO STUDY
Mbabane Highlander’s Captain Xolani Çhocco’Sibandze with Sabelo Ndlela during their graduation at Eswatini College of Technology

CHOCCO URGES SPORTSMEN TO STUDY

There is a growing number of sports personalities who value the importance of education. Recently, Mbabane Highlander’s winger Xolani Çhocco’Sibandze joined many professional sports men and women who have graduated with an academic qualification while involved at the highest level of sports. He gives advice to contemporaries and future sportsmen to invest in education so that when their playing days are over, they can have something to fall back on.
The Mbabane Highlanders captain says talent is a rare thing that should be exploited to the best of one’s ability. He encourages talented sports men and women to try and pursue a career in that field, but warns that football, in particular, tends to be a short career job which can be brought to halt by an injury, leaving the player without a source of income. It is not uncommon to see professional players who had abandoned their education going back to school when careers end abruptly. Yet there are those who still have difficulty returning to school even though they may still have an opportunity to do so. There are many still who are have become desperately destitute when
their careers ended. “Education is very important; and I would urge our players to invest in enriching themselves academically, then they can continue playing. In sports, one will always retire – willingly or accidentally – but your academic certificate will never retire,” argues Sibandze. Studying while one has a handful of other commitments can be challenging. David Wetherall, the first player to graduate with a first degree, 23 years ago (1992), said, “Being a top level player takes absolute commitment; so it would be very hard to maintain the balance, but for me my degree was a good escape when I wanted something away from football.” The retired world footballer’s comments take into cognizance the fact that sports can be a fulltime occupation that may be hard to juggle with other commitments, but one that can be so stressful that education can be a way of relaxation. It would seem that was where Wetherall derived his motivation. Sports also help individuals that are not doing it as a profession to live healthy lifestyles.

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