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Article by Sgt Tebogo Kekana, Ad Astra Magazine, photos courtesy of 68 Air School

Having joined the Mobile Deployment Wing (MDW) netball team last year September, and reigned as one of the best for the past two years as a handball player for the Mpumalanga province, this could say enough about the firecracker that is Sgt Obed Skhosana from 500 Squadron.

Currently detached at Swartkop RSM Section, the 32 year old excelled as a goal defender and then went on to play rugby at Air Force Base (AFB) Hoedspruit and coaching netball. He approaches his work as he approaches his sporting games he says. Valuable lessons that sport has taught him, he mentions are: the importance of collective responsibility, how talents can be developed further, and the value of individual flair and creativity.

Sport keeps me on my toes, it requires discipline and skills

We already spend a great deal of our time at work, thus, I commend the SA Air Force Chief, Lt Gen Zimpande Msimang for effectively integrating sport and physical activities in our work programme. We are encouraged to benefit from the fitness and health programmes that enhance productivity and morale

I have been told that my eye catching abilities in sport have been revered in and around the many SANDF sport competitions, and Ive proved early on just why I am such a massive prospect.

One of his biggest milestones, he says is when he made his debut as a netballer and scored more goals just in one game at Pretoria Military Sport Centre.  The Prestige Week, when they played against the Army Mixed Team was also, he said, one that he would never forget.  When I am on the field, I become very competitive, especially at the championships. I have been a coach before, so I know what is expected on and off the field. I currently goal attack and I do my magic while keeping fit.

Sgt Skhosana doesnt mince his words when he says, I dont think there is a sporting code purely males or females. All sporting codes are competitive, its just a perception that people have and what level one can take it up to. My vision, more than winning, is to enjoy the game and make friends, when we win, it is a bonus, and it leaves us happy and proud. I encourage anyone to try joining a sporting code, not because Im a Regimental, Physical and Weapons Instructor, but because I know the power that lies in teamwork.

I organize youngsters in my neighbourhood now and again, just to have local tournaments back in Mpumalanga, Im very involved in my community when it comes to sport, it keeps them away from negative things. Many have shockingly good skill-sets, which set them apart on the field, most have electrifying speed, I love that. I hope they can take that physical sting they have, and invest it in taking sport as a career of choice. I think they listen to me because I can differentiate between being a soldier, and being a big brother. Whenever im on the field, one of my biggest assets are my cool head, and my temperament. 

His team-mates, have witnessed him showcasing his wide array of skills. L Cpl Morongwa Kgomosotho and Cpl Lorato Magoai both attested that, he always impresses the spectators with his passing game, his clever feet and a body that can dodge and swerve through defenders and of course, his astounding throwing abilities from hand to hand. He is a definite match winner who also brings his part at every game.

He says that the ladies should doubt his performance at netball at their own peril, and Sgt Vusimuzi Mavuka agrees and says, If he replicates what he has been doing in every sporting code that he has enjoyed, performance wise, his stints with the other mixed teams, his team will be bagging trophies left right and centre. We thank the military life, because we have improved concentration and mental sharpness. I read somewhere that playing sport at the workplace reduces absenteeism, increases employee turnover and reduces stress.


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