… GIS celebrates her talent
Gaborone International School (GIS) is proud to announce that their very own fourteen-year-old Palesa Mokgopakosi was recently chosen for the u/17 National Woman Squad.
She is amazed and extremely excited to be given the opportunity to play with this very talented team. “I’m grateful to be selected out of many girls for this exciting opportunity”, she expressed. She continued to say that she felt very honoured that the coach saw something in her skill and talent to allow her to be part of this dynamic and talented group of payers.
Palesa believes in hard work and embraces the life skills soccer teaches her. She believes that there is a synergy on and off the field. “Soccer teaches not only teamwork, perseverance, and decision making, that I’ll be able to apply to all aspects of my life, but also helps me to learn to weather the ups and downs of life, anticipate opportunities and how to work with my peers to solve different challenges on the field. Most of all, I appreciate how playing this game connects me with a variety of talented peers, who has a love for this sport”, she says.
Sport such as soccer is a powerful tool for engaging youngsters and by putting the focus on fun. When asked how Palesa got hooked to the sport she smiled and said: “soccer chose me”. She says that she enjoys all forms of sport. “I love to be active but the opportunity to be scouted by a soccer club and then chosen to take a larger step into this sporting code shows me that God had chosen this pathway for me and I’m really grateful.”
Palesa always shows a positive attitude when approaching a game. When preparing for a game she says that she knows that she has done the work to be physically prepared. “You need to put in the hours and practise your skills. The more you train the better your chances will be to transform your skills into talent that scouts will value for a national or international team. You will have to cultivate a growth mindset and acknowledge that there is always a skill or trend that you can learn to improve your game. Be prepared to adjust your goalpost and constantly strive to improve your skills and be prepared to learn from the best”.
“I never go into a game thinking I am the best because I know that the people, I’m meeting on the field are probably just as good as I am or probably even better. Also, their skills will push me again to be a better player and you need a mindset that will prepare you for the ups and downs on the field. Being open-minded allows you to take criticism for what it is, a suggestion to help you improve your game. You can learn more when you listen to suggestions and discuss various options. Do not be defensive, stay positive and remember in an intense game when tempers flare, to always talk it out. If you enjoy the path of playing your favourite sport, the satisfaction will be enormous and the sacrifice will be worth it,” she exclaims.
Quick Firing Questions:
· Favourite Player: The G.O.A.T Lionel Messi
· Favourite Team: La Liga Santander is FC Barcelona and in English Premier League is Manchester United
· Who inspires you: My mom, because she taught me things that I never thought were possible to have experienced. As an African child she gave me opportunities that I only saw happen in the movies. She continuously tells me that she is proud to be my mother and looks up to me, which makes me feel loved and appreciated. She gives me strength in moments of dismay, she gives me hope that the bad things in the world can be changed and she inspires me to continue being the best I can be.
· Quote I live by: I always tell myself that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
· A special thanks go to: My Mom and Dad, my two older brothers Marang and Phatsimo, and my entire extended family for believing in me. My friends in school and in the neighbourhood, the school head of sports Mrs Makuyana as well as all my teachers for their support, my coaches at UB Kicks and the National team Coaches for this amazing opportunity. A BIG THANKS!
GIS is extremely proud of Palesa and we wish her and the National team all the best for the season!