Home schooling works well for young athletes

31 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Home schooling works well for young athletes Kuzivaishe Chapepa

The Sunday News

Nkosilathi Sibanda, Sports Reporter 

IT takes just an hour for Kuzivaishe Chapepa to pull through her morning training sessions.

The 13-year-old Chapepa is a tennis player and Africa’s number one in the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) circuit.

From 5.30am to 6.30am she does her drills under the supervision of her coach, while her father cheers her on from the sidelines.

From there, she prepares for school. Hers is not the usual schooling. She does her learning over the computer between 8am and 12 mid-day.

After lunch time, Chapepa heads back to training until the end of day. 

They call it home schooling and it is well defined as a practice where a learner decides not to attend formal school, chooses to do lessons at home or from any private space. 

Home schooling is a growing trend for many young athletes of late. Chapepa was lucky to get a scholarship from the International Tennis Federation (ITF). She is part of the ITF online education programme and trains with Curro Hazeldean Academy in South Africa.

On school holidays, she practices under renowned Bulawayo coach Thesly Mufunda at the Bulawayo Athletics Club (BAC)-based Global Athlete Performance Sports. 

Home schooling is now an alternative for many children doing sport in the country. The trend is popular with tennis, swimming, squash, football, volleyball and athletics stars.

Most of the athletes that have been drafted to home schooling do so outside the country. 

Home schooling came about after it was discovered that athletes need to cut on pressure and balance sport and academics.

The concept, according to sports psychologists, provides athletes with more time to practice and train.  

Home educated athletes, it has been discovered, have an advantage to pursue careers in sport and also go professional.

Often times, home schooling is done by athletes in private schools. Those in public institutions find it difficult to do such and there have been concerns that Government has to change its stance on home schooling in public schools.

Matabeleland North Sport and Recreation Commission Matabeleland North co-ordinator Newman Masuku, is of the view that home schooling works well with young athletes as they get to focus more on their talent, at the same time getting the necessary education to complement their grooming.

Masuku said he has met many young athletes in schools sport who do well in balancing their life.

“The advantage with home schooling is that there is a lot of parental support.  At the recent National Association of Secondary School Heads athletics event in Victoria Falls, I saw a child doing javelin who is under home schooling. Her parents were there to support her, of which it is plausible. That child gets tremendous support from parents and coaches. 

“Home schooling gives the individual more exposure to the sport they are engaged in. They adapt easily to any situation. It is recommended that if parents can afford, they invest in their child’s home schooling,” said Masuku.

He, however, said there was a setback with home schooling.

“Socially, at times kids on home schooling tend to lose out. They are not in the everyday system that exposes children to playing and socialising. They miss out on team work and interaction, which are essential in sport grooming.

“Going forward, we need to adapt to the home schooling concept in all sport codes. We have seen the trend elsewhere in hockey and other sports where parents do support their children. Let’s spread that and have it across board if resources permit,” said Masuku.

With parents of children doing home schooling, it has been a fair experience of trials and tribulations. 

They attest that it is a working formula that has to be adopted in the education system. 

Speaking of her child’s home schooling, Chapepa’s father, Frederick, said it has worked well in making sure she spends time concentrating on school and sport.

Frederick applauds the home schooling concept.

“The truth is, it’s never easy for children to balance sport and their schooling. There are times when Kuzivaishe has to write an examination but they are participating in a final match of a tournament. 

“Sometimes they write their examinations on court, awaiting to play a game. We, at times find ourselves begging match officials to delay the match a bit so that the child finishes the examination. It’s not easy as some teachers think sport is a waste of time,” said Chapepa.

A local tutor who specialises in home schooling, Thabani Ncube said it is all about time management.

“I have been teaching children in their private spaces for some time now. What I can say is that home schooling makes the learner know how to manage their time. 

“For those that are into sport, it is the way to go. You cannot concentrate well at a particular field when your time is being controlled by a system,” he said.



Share This: