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09 December 2020 | in FISU Athletes, NUSF News

Molotsane’s transition from the sporting field to the professional world

Kesa Molotsane competing for South AfricaSouth Africa’s Kesa Molotsane, middle-distance runner turned sport administrator, pinpoints the important role that sport plays in her life. The former World University Games athlete insists that “dedication, love, passion and perseverance” is what keeps her committed in bettering her career in sports.


Having grown up in a family that loves sports, Molotsane’s journey in sport started at the tender age of five when she took up running. She says she actively took part in various sporting disciplines since her primary school days. Since then, she has gone on to represent her province at the netball nationals, and she is still currently representing South Africa in athletics.


“Sports has always been a part of me; all I’ve known and been exposed to is sports. Sports is not just my passion; it is my calling – and that is how I ended up being a sports administrator,” she tells FISU happily.


Most recently, South Africa’s Top 100 Shining Stars were named and Molotsane featured in the Sports and Recreation Category. Inside Education celebrates brilliant young minds shaping South Africa’s development through excellence. After receiving the news of her inclusion in the list, she says: “I am really honoured to be named among such a highly decorated group of people. It gives me so much pleasure to share my gift with the world; especially disadvantaged communities. I have vowed to empower young individuals, with a focus on girls, through my talent and passion.”


University Sport South Africa (USSA) has played a pivotal role in Molotsane’s development and progression.


“USSA has given me a platform to improve myself, gain experience and confidence in what I do as an athlete,” she explains. “It has contributed immensely to my career as far as exposure is concerned. I’ve transitioned from an amateur to a professional athlete under the USSA umbrella. USSA was a great starting point for an athlete of my calibre. Representing the country and USSA at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei in 2017, gave me an assurance that it is possible to become what you want to in life and I am grateful for those opportunities.”


Molotsane got her first national call up at the age of 14, to compete as a middle-distance runner. She specializes in the 5000m on the track, 10km on the cross-country field and 10km on the road. The 28-year-old is currently employed as a sport officer at Kovsie Sports, based in the Kovsie Athletics office at the University of the Free State (UFS).


“I regard my career in sports as a sentiment of my life and I am highly dedicated to what I do on and off the sports field. My years of experience and involvement in sports as an athlete; have shaped my skills, knowledge and influence in my career as a sports administrator,” says the dedicated administrator.


Kesa Molotsane winning UFS Sportswoman of the Year in 2017Kesa Molotsane winning UFS Sportswoman of the Year in 2017The former UFS Senior Sportswoman of the Year (2017) owes her success to Mrs. Sarina Cronje who is someone that mentored and guided her to where she is today.


“Sarina Cronje is the mastermind behind my career, literally,” she says. “I am short of words on how to express my gratitude to her. She is more than just a mentor; she is someone who helped me build my career from the ground up. She played the biggest role in my career, both as an athlete and an administrator. I can only wish her well on her retirement. Her work is exactly what you are about to see in me!”


Molotsane speaks of the challenges she faced when transitioning from being an athlete to a professional, and how she overcame them.


“Being over-committed was a challenge; there was never free time for me, and I missed so many family events and quality time with loved ones,” she adds. “I started off as a full-time working student athlete. I had to compromise a lot and draw upon my time-management skills. The transitioning was tough, but because it was something I dearly loved and wanted, I never felt it and I still believe that it was worth it.”


Having made a successful transition from competing on the field to having a more hands-on approach with athletes, Molotsane faced the challenge of no competitive sports and a lockdown in South Africa, through much of this year.


Molotsane representing SA“The lockdown has been a little bit challenging for me because I prefer working closely and personally with our athletes. It was a little difficult to evaluate the state of each athlete as we were far apart from each other. Those who know me well would confirm that I love working with athletes and I worry a lot if I don’t have contact with them for a while.”


“However, I learnt so much from the lockdown and I obviously acquired new skills on how to work from home and become innovative in terms of my office work,” she mentions the silver lining. “I am just glad that I get to see all of them back on their grind again.”


On her plans for the future, Molotsane insists that she is still learning in the world of sports: “I want to be knowledgeable and equipped enough to be able to lead in the athletics and sports fraternity. I am open to giving chances to new talent and to support the sport with my expertise – I want to contribute in any way that I can, to make South African sports better and make USSA reach greater heights.”