This weeks blog features an interview on Thando Msweli, one of the most experienced coaches at PPI-SA. Famously known as the “selfie queen”, Thando is having a great year so far. She just returned from the week long Laureus Youth Empowerment (YES) Programme Camp that was held in Cape Town this past week. Below she shares with us her experience at the camp as a Laureus YES Expert.
When did you first join the Laureus YES programme?
I joined the Laureus Yes programme in 2014 as a protégé. I didn’t know much about Laureus but little did I know it was going to be one of the greatest things to happen to my life. In 2015 I was invited back to be a pioneer, which encompassed mentoring the protégés and also growing personally through a number of skills development trainings.
The laureus YES Programme equipped me with some of the skills I possess today. It has been a great experience and a great platform to find more opportunities. Finding a new home with people who share similar life goals as you and people who work as hard as you are one of the fulfilments of YES.
What were your expectations going into this year’s camp?
Going into the camp this year I was ready and excited to start yet another chapter with Laureus. I knew I was being given a platform to shine and showcase all that I’ve learnt and gathered throughout the years working with Laureus, my expectations were exceeded. The past week, being with people who have fallen but have risen and use their stories to inspire others, has been amazing.
What was your role at this year’s camp?
At the 2017 Laureus YES camp, I was an Expert, which involved facilitating a few sessions for the protégés, mentoring and finding my own personal journey. I would facilitate small group sessions with protégés which encompassed us mentoring, listening and guiding them throughout the entire training. We were like their team leaders, people they could look up too and talk too on a professional or personal level. We are a family above all.
What have you learnt about yourself as well as a leader in your own right, at this year’s camp?
The programme has had such a positive impact in my life within the sporting arena and outside sport. It has taught me to have a growth mind-set, always thinking forward and positively. The trust and support from the programme has made me more confident in myself and has made me a go-getter. It has taught me to grab all opportunities and run with them because I have the power to do anything I put my mind and heart into.
What can you take back with you that you can use in your role as AC?
Through all the trainings that I’ve done with Laureus, they are all relevant for my everyday life including the AC role I am currently in. it has taught me that we all have different opinions and views and it’s always essential that you respect another’s views. It has taught me better communication, to express myself confidently in the right, proper manner, seeing that I am the mode of communication between staff and coaches. It has also played a role in how I critically and logically address situations faced with in the work space. Overall the level of confidence I have gained throughout this experience is definitely something I’d want to share with my coaches. Lastly branding myself, it is essentially that you are aware of how you brand yourself as a person, as a leader and as a role model.
We are so proud of Thando, and the way she represented PPI-SA. Whats more, Thando has been invited to attend the upcoming United Nations Sport for Development Youth Camp in Sweden. She is going to be attending as a member of the elite Alumni that were invited.