Local athletics coach is currently cutting his teeth in Nairobi

Local athletics coach and teacher, Boikie Gama is currently in Nairobi, Kenya at the International Association of Athletics Federation Academy elite coach training for middle- and long-distance running coaches.

One of only two South African coaches to attend the prestigious event, Gama said he was excited to spend time with coaches from across the globe.

“I am really looking forward to going and mixing with people of high calibre, as I am certain I will learn many useful skills to share back home,” he said.

Also read: Local athletics coach heads for USA

His inclusion in the list of attendees stems from the progress and international acclaim his grassroots development programme which aims to attract junior girls from age nine to 16 years to athletics, has garnered over the last year and a half.

In 2016 he was awarded a full scholarship by the Olympic Solidarity and the United States Olympic Committee in partnership with the University of Delaware where he attended the first leg of the ICEP coaching enrichment training, and at the US Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs, Colorado which lead to his completion of the training in Lausanne in 2017.

Also read: Tears as local coach receives honours at the IOC

Boikie Gama. Photo: supplied

A dedicated coach and teacher based at the EJ Singwane Secondary School in Pienaar, Gama has high hopes for the future of his project.

“The exciting thing about this opportunity is that I am going to be given more than just tips and skills about physically coaching the young athletes, because it will also deal with how to support young athletes mentally so that they can face the challenges which come their way,” he said.

To Gama, it is all about giving back and sharing the skills he is set to learn with his group of 50 athletes and the coaches he interacts with from neighbouring schools.

“It’s a really high skill-level course, which means that I will be given information which I am excited to share with coaches here in the area,” he said.

Also read: Star proves running your socks off is worth it

Boikie Gama with his team of young athletes. Photo: supplied

“Some of my athletes are shining, they are going to national events and doing well,” said Gama on the progress of some of the girls in the project, which he is currently funding from his own pocket.

According to Gama, his project and the skills he is set to gain is all about providing his athletes with a well-rounded education so that the girls can take care of themselves.

Gama believes that athletics is a sure-fire way to help these young women realise and develop their personal potential by acting a vehicle for sharing life skills and providing a safe and comfortable support base.

To him an added bonus of attending the event in Nairobi is that he will be learning from people that face similar socio-economic and political challenges as he does.

“Kenya is very similar to South Africa, and the issues we have here are also experienced by rural coaches in Kenya, so I believe that I will learn very useful things that I can apply here at home,” he said.

Hancu Louw

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