University of Johannesburg‘s Taren Naidoo is thrilled with the chance to work with some of the top sportswomen in the country after joining the national women’s hockey management team.
The 31-year-old sports scientist is part of the department at UJ and said it was a privilege to serve at a national level in any capacity.
“It is great to work alongside the brains of the industry – coaches and medical staff – and with the most talented athletes in our country,” she said.
“I owe my parents, brother and sister so much for supporting me in all I do. My supervisor [Professor Andrew McKune], from the University of KZN, who is now based at the Australian Institute of Sport, also played a huge role in my journey to this point.”
Naidoo added she was thrilled to renew a relationship with the former UJ women’s hockey coach Robin van Ginkel, who is in charge of the national team.
As she didn’t have the qualifications to become a physiotherapist, Naidoo decided on sports science because she had a passion for all sports.
“I was not a talented sport person but at school and varsity I participated in everything – water polo, badminton, hockey, tennis, basketball, rhythmic gymnastics, netball. You name it, if I had time I was there and would get involved.”
Having qualified from UKZN with honours in sports science and a masters in exercise physiology, Naidoo now works with the UJ basketball and women’s hockey teams.
“As the sports scientist for those teams I manage and work with each athlete on an individual basis,” she said.
“This involves planning the player’s strength and conditioning on the field and in the gym, as well as the skill sessions.”