Maties Sport Women’s Month Article
“What does it take to be the first female anything? It takes grit, and it takes grace.” – Meryl Streep
During the month of August – celebrated as Women’s Month in South Africa – we at Maties Sport will take the opportunity to celebrate some of the extraordinary women who – with grit and grace – makes a difference in the lives of our student-athletes and the university sport environment.
Nathaly September – Maties Women Basketball Head Coach
She is the first ever female high performance Maties Basketball Head Coach and Nathaly September is more than ready to set the standard for generations of women basketball coaches – at Maties and South Africa – to come.
It’s only been seven months since her appointment as the Maties Basketball Women team’s Head Coach, but Nathaly hasn’t been waiting for things to happen. Despite the lack of actual playing action due to continuing Covid-19 restrictions, Nathaly and her men’s counterpart Masie Ntali have been working hard with the Maties High Performance team to make sure when basketball gets the green light, Maties will be ready.
“My goal at Maties is to take the Women’s Basketball team to greatness. To show them that we as women can achieve whatever we put our minds to. So study hard and get your degree and when you have to, work hard on the court and show what we as Maties Women can do,” explained Nathaly with excitement.
She has been involved with coaching since 2010 and with each and every step Nathaly has been focusing not only on bettering herself as a coach for her teams, but also to make the pathway for women coaches more clear.
“I do believe equality is for women in sport is still the biggest challenge we face. Especially when we are talking about coaching. We can do the job just as good as a man. Being a woman does not – or must not – put you at a disadvantage when it comes to coaching teams,” said Nathaly.
Her message to girls making their way in sport: “It’s difficult but with hard work and dedication you can achieve it. Make sure your life is balanced with studies and sport. Take note of what your coach teaches you today. One day you might be in her shoes and then remembering her words just might come in handy!”
The importance of the much needed extra focus women get in August is not lost on Nathaly. “It means that we can impower more women to be the best woman they can be. It means that women are being appreciated.”
Nathaly believes that you must live life to the fullest and never miss an opportunity to fulfil your potential. “That is pretty what my motto in life is based on. There are no regrets. Just lessons learnt.”