Working as a sports coordinator can prove to be rewarding, but it also involves plenty of hard work

Lihle Mtshali

Lihle Mtshali

Do you have a passion for sports on and off the field? Then a career as a sports coordinator might be for you.

Yolanda Macozoma-Mangana has been a sports coordinator at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) since 2004 and says her love for sport was what motivated her to pursue this career.

In high school Macozoma- Mangana was the captain of the school's first team netball squad and played hockey and touch rugby.

"Initially I had thought I would study law, but when I realised that I could make use of my love of sport in my career, I had no doubt that this was where I had to be," she says.

As a sports coordinator at UJ, Macozoma-Mangana's job description entails lecturing sport history classes, managing students' practical activities, doing office administration and coaching children in disadvantaged communities - her favourite activity. She also has the enviable task of building relationships with various sporting federations with which the university can partner for students' practical lessons.

To qualify as a sports coordi-nator Macozoma-Mangana completed a three-year Sports Management and Marketing diploma at the then Wits Tech. This was an intense course that included experiential training, which required students to put in extra hours of work outside of school hours. This proved particularly taxing for Macozoma-Mangana, who had just gotten married and had a young child at home. But she persevered and finished her studies in 2003.

Macozoma-Mangana says the greatest challenge in her job is dealing with temperamental students who want everything done their way and having to constantly chase after students to hand in their work on time.

"Whatever challenges I face at work are offset by the joy I get from hearing my students tell me that because of how I pushed them to succeed they are finally graduating. That is my greatest reward," she says.