June 2020

Achievements at University and key learnings

The past month has been one where I have been busy with research mostly, at the ISD (International Sport Development Centre) and ICESSD (Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Sport Science and Development) which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Most of the courses at University were open, and were done online. The university assisted a lot in helping the students and staff with the needed essentials in order to be able to work online, meaning they helped students with data, a device (smartphone) and a laptop, should there have been a need. Initially it took a bit getting used to the new situation, but once you are disciplined enough, you find a way regardless of whatever.

Ways of studying during the crisis

Personally I find it a bit difficult but not impossible because if you want to do something, when you really want to do it, nothing can stop you, you’ll find a way. I have a tablet that I use to do my research work, and I have to go my friend when I want to use the internet. This has however become difficult as gang violence has again started to become rife, and it’s really a risk walking around now, as shots go of, irrespective of what time it is.

I have to go over to my friend if I have to email my work, or sometimes I can send it over whatsapp which helps, as Cell C (a network here in SA which I use) gives you the option of buying whatsapp data for the month which isn’t so expensive. I have a laptop, but my screen is broken and I am not sure how much it is going to cost to fix it. Otherwise my laptop is still in good condition. I haven’t received any data from the University yet even though I applied in April already and we are in July now. My mentor Professor Marion Keim is helping me in that regard and hopefully she can help me sort this out, which would make my life a whole lot easier.

Involvement in social projects

I have been given the opportunity to work at a project called “Oasis” now as a sport and development researcher, where I will help them set up sport and development policies as they are involved in the homeless and walking soccer which includes the world cup. I have also maintained my passion for helping the elderly people in my community, and still love to help them. It brings so much joy to myself.

Biggest challenges

Currently I have had a bit of struggles in terms of working from home, as the data that I requested from University still hasn’t come to fruition quite yet. I also can’t go to my friends who allow me to use their data, as gang violence and shootings have started to resurface after it was quiet for quite some time.

The development of the Corona crisis

Level five, which was the toughest level of the lockdown which we had until May, was a bit tough as it was strictly about being indoors which wasn’t good news for me as that meant I had to be in the house 24/7 with my brothers who are basically terrorizing us. It made the house overcrowded which affected my time in which to study and do readings, but I just did it later at night when it became a bit quiet, which was very seldom.

Level 4 was a bit better as it meant shops were open, and one could have the privilege of eating fast foods, or takeaways as we also call it here in SA. It also meant the opening of some sectors in our country, which could help our country and ourselves ultimately. This also meant the government could help distribute more essentials to the people who are most in need, which makes me truly happy.

Now that we are in level 3 most things are open again, even some schools even though the number of cases are in fact growing instead of gradually slowing down or remaining steady. However, it meant that I could get the opportunity to work at Oasis now. Also as a result of the schools system and curriculum being structured the way it is for due the corona virus, some opportunities have opened up, such as a teaching assistant which I have been very encouraged to take by fellow friends and former teachers who I have had the honor of learning from.