Madibaz Sport manager Melinda Goosen will continue her passion of helping young athletes in her role as a manager for the University Sport South Africa squad attending the World Student Games this week.
Sports-mad for as long as she can remember, Goosen will be looking after the swimming squad for the event, which starts in Chinese Taipei on Friday.
Having made her mark as a capable administrator while still a student at Nelson Mandela University, she was appointed to Madibaz Sport in 2010.
“This is a dream job for me and you need to have a passion for sport, to love people and to know the basic principles of management,” said the aquatics and netball manager.
“You also need to ensure that you build support systems throughout and are always prepared to learn more.”
Besides the student-athletes’ individual achievements, Goosen said the most satisfying aspect of her job was “to make a difference”.
“It is the road you walk with a student from their first to final year and being part of their growth from a school pupil to a young man or woman.
“Being able to contribute in a positive way in a student’s life is the ultimate satisfaction for me.”
Having first travelled to Shenzen, China, in 2011, it will be her fourth trip as part of the USSA delegation and Goosen said her job was to take the worry out of the system for the swimmers.
“I need to make sure all the logistics are in place for the team and the swimmers before, during and after the tour,” she said.
Goosen, who attended Charlo Primary and DF Malherbe High, said her passion for sport came from her “sports-crazed family” as she competed in a variety of sports.
She said she cut back on her schedule in high school, giving up tennis and cross country to fit in her major sports of athletics and netball.
Goosen achieved provincial colours in both and was picked as a javelin thrower for the 1996 SA Schools athletics team who toured to Germany.
“My sporting career was unfortunately cut short due to a big hip operation in 1998 when I was at varsity. That meant I had to hang up my spikes, although I continued with netball, playing for the EP A and B teams from 2001 to 2004.”