South African Football Players Union (Safpu) president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe has hailed Kaizer Chiefs star Bernard Parker’s academic excellence and is hoping it will serve as a source of inspiration to other players.
Parker, 34, obtained a qualification in Sports Management from Boston City Campus and Business College recently.
Gaoshubelwe believes the feat by the former Bafana Bafana striker will help send a message to get more players educated so that they have something to fall back on after retirement.
“Parker’s achievement will inspire players more and they will realise that it is doable. That’s where there the challenge is. We hope players will look at Parker and say if a player of Parker’s caliber, who plays week in and week out, can study with their schedule, just like Percy Tau, then who am I not to? We hope it will rub off on players like those in the PSL and GladAfrica Championship. We are hoping that all these issues will properly be addressed through this inspiration, created by Parker having graduated,” said Gaoshubelwe.
Gaoshubelwe has called on PSL and GladAfrica Championship players to take up the challenge of studying while playing in preparation for unpredictable days post playing.
“In general, studies broaden your horizon, you look at things differently. You are able to engage on matters in a manner in which we do that hence we have created a bursary ourselves, as Safpu, that players who are interested in studying, they need to do that. Parker, what a role model! You can play and study at the same time. That gives you an advantage,” said Gaoshubelwe.
“Players need to study. If we are serious about participating in the economy of football in this country without these expertise we may not be able to share in the economies of the game that we would have worked so hard to create.
“We can’t be talking about transforming whereas we are not transforming ourselves. We have also encouraged players that those who want to study coaching, they need to do it while they are playing. They will have better understanding of the game and they will know how certain things are done.”
By Hosea Ramphekwa