My name is Tshegofatso Kodisang, I am 13 years old and live in a township called Lenasia on the West Rand of Johannesburg. I live with my mother, grandmother, uncle and two cousins in a 2-bedroom house. I am very shy and don’t have a lot of friends but I have two best friends. I am at my happiest when I am with my friends and family. My mother is my role model because she works hard, loves me and cares for everyone around her even though we have very little.
A great day for me is going to the gym because it makes me feel fit and healthy. I love playing soccer, running and playing netball. I joined the Altus Sport programme through a friend to keep busy but I realized the programme was more than just keeping me physically active. We have a very high drug rate in our community and I want to change that one day when I become a doctor. Being in this programme has stopped me from not being peer pressured into drugs. I have learnt that sport is linked with life skills and the most important one to me is RESPECT – not just to others but myself aswell.
Coach Khetiwe said that “ she chose to do a case study on me because even though I am shy, I show a lot of enthusiasm and that I am very dedicated.” My mom also said that “she has seen a big change in my behaviour as I help out more around the house and I don’t wonder the streets like I used too.” That makes her very happy because she though I would start doing bad habits but soccer has changed me. Mrs Molefe, Tshegofatso’s register teacher quoted “I am so sad that this programme (Altus Sport) took so long to reach us because there no sports at our schools anymore and they are the only people that are making sure that our children are not going into the drug infestated community.”
My least favourite part of the programme was when it ended – that made me sad because I just wanted to carry on playing soccer with my new family. I was so shy but now I can openly talk about my periods to my friends. We used to laugh at each other but we undestand now that being a woman in this world is a great privelage. We have rights and a strong voice now. I have learnt a lot of new skills for my future and one that will stick with me is that “Overcoming obstacles is challenging but rewarding.”