Former football player, Gogontle Marumo has encouraged athletes to invest in themselves as they prepare for retirement and ready themselves for the job market.
He said athletes must also be taught to be role models and professionals in society.
Marumo told Sport Monitor that athletes need to acquire education or certain skills while they are still in their prime. He said in some instances athletes are forced to retire at a young age because of injuries or being off form. Marumo grew up in Selebi-Phikwe and started playing football at an early age.
“I was playing for school teams from primary until senior secondary school level. All my siblings are also active in sport. My elder brother, Kabelo Marumo is a coach for Kalavango volleyball club and my younger brother, Otlaatla plays for the same club. My family was always strict and they wanted us to focus on academics before sport,” he said.
Marumo also said growing up in the dusty streets of the then Copper mining town, his dream was to become a professional football player and even ply his trade overseas. He was admitted at University of Botswana (UB) to pursue Environmental Science and Sociology and graduated in 2015. During the 2012/2013 season, Marumo made his debut in the Botswana Premier League (BPL) donning Uniao Flamingo Santos colours.
He said despite playing in the Premier League, getting a Degree remained a priority and it was easy for him to balance academics with football.
“I knew what was important and in that season I played for seven different clubs. From Santos I went to Notwane then proceeded to Orapa United. I then joined Extension Gunners before joining Gaborone United (GU) and completed my journey at Prisons XI. You may wonder why
Marumo said fortunately for him, Butler had an open mind and allowed him to attend training after his lessons. The player was given one on one training sessions with Butler who understood the importance of obtaining a Degree. He added that even some clubs allowed him to attend games after his examinations. Marumo said he decided to further his studies during the 2018/2019. At that time he suffered from a groin injury.
“The excitement that I initially had was no longer there because from the start I had told myself that if I noticed that football was not taking me anywhere, I would quit. So that was it, I left. I have now set up a catering business,” he said.
Marumo said during his short stint in the BPL, he realised that there was poor administration in clubs, with overlapping of roles and positions. He noted that clubs did not have enough resources, facilities and finances leading to inconsistencies in payment of salaries.
“Players’ welfare is a challenge for most clubs, injuries are not addressed properly and you find that management could easily fire players.
I am aware that in some instances there is indiscipline amongst some players. There is need for clubs to appoint administrators who are competent and qualified,” Marumo said.