Select Page

Women’s Month: Natasha Bredekamp

I am a single mom first and career wise, I manage a multi-sport for development program in Gansbaai. Managing a team of 10 Coaches, 5 Junior Coaches and 12 international volunteers. Our program engages with 10 schools, 1 special needs school and 3 ECD’s delivering sports for good, gross motor and life skill programs within schools. We also run an after-school program at our community field that focus on formal sport training, focusing on skills development for football, athletics, hockey, netball and canoeing. I also co-run a female only surf therapy program and a water awareness program. 

Seeing the children progress, improve and grow into upstanding young adults is not only rewarding but my motivation to keep doing what we doing. In Gansbaai there is not much for the youth to do and many do not have the opportunity to venture beyond their home towns. Through the programs we run, kids get to not only travel and meet new people but also get to experience new things like, taking their very first shower, going on an escalator for the first time and the opportunity to not only see an aeroplane but travel in one too.
These simple everyday things mean the world to them and seeing their faces is like watching a baby discover the world and as long as I can provide someone that experience, the more motivated I am to keep pushing at my job. 

Through my life, I’ve had various inspirational role models that were suited for the stages of my life and with that it was not one specific role model who had me aspire to be who I am but rather a selection of great leaders supplying steps for me to climb. While climbing and being a young woman of colour, I gained strength by the words of one poet and a musician who since my teenage years have kept me motivated. So, whenever I need to reach deep, I read the words of Maya Angelou’s Poem; “Phenomenal woman” and listen to the lyrics of India Aria’s;” I am not my hair” and I am once again reminded of my mission to change the world that my daughter and all young woman will experience in the future. 

The lack of knowledge, promotion and marketing of woman’s sports is one of the biggest barriers. I have found that unless you participate in the sport, no one outside that circle would be aware of it, yet with men sports, it is thrown in your face daily, whether on television, social media or even just in the press. We know who won the varsity cup for men’s rugby but we are unaware of the Woman’s Rugby league that is currently being televised. 

Women’s Sport will get more support, once more people are informed and get to see them in action like we do the men. 

Showing up, supporting and promoting woman sport. 

Advocating for more woman participation within the respective sports codes and respecting woman who choose to make sports a career. 

Within our own organisation, we have teams traveling and attending tournaments together and we encourage and motivate the boys to support the girl’s teams as much as the girls support their matches. This way we teaching the boys to appreciate and value the females for their dedication to the sport as well. They train together, so why not cheer together.

What you want to do and become, is not defined by your gender but by your determination and heart. 

Put in the time, make the sacrifice and push through irrespective of the challenges put before you. 

Do not doubt your ability and your intellect and listen to Winnie the Pooh more intensely, he has some wise words. 

“You are braver than you believe, Stronger than you seem, Smarter than you think and Loved more than you 

know” – Winne The Pooh 

My ultimate goal, is to see more equal opportunities for all sport athletes regardless of background, ethnicity and wealth. I want sports to be the driving force that not only unites people when we win but provides the raw talent to exceed with no limit to finance restraints. 

I would like more sports bursaries available within South Africa, that gets rural kids with raw talent focused on their books and striving to leave public primary schools and attend elite high schools that afford them opportunities to then attend prestigious universities. I would like to close the gap between the Geeks and the Jocks and allow kids to be both and not stereotypically choose one over the other. 

Share This