The Kenyanstar of the week column is a talent highlighting page sponsored by Blancos Sports Grill.
|Kenyanstar of the week; David Gathuku|
Studies and Handball; the balancing act
For the 20-year old, born and bred in Nairobi’s Dagoretti Corner, Handball was never known to him until high school. He attended St Hannah’s Preparatory School in Karen from 1997 to 2005) before enrolling at the Mang’u High School.
“The very first time I saw a handball game was during the Mang’u open tournament in early February 2006 when I was in form 1. I had never heard of such a game before but it caught my eye-the speed, the skill, the excitement; and it looked pretty simple”, says David.
“I started off training but I could not immediately make the cut for the first due to inexperience. I was however made captain of the second team after just a month. By the next season I made the first team but as a substitute, then in form 3 I made the starting 7. I was appointed as captain of the main team in my final season when I was in form 4 although I had a recurrent back injury during that season”
David says that balancing sports and study is no rocket science. He syas that too much study clogs and tires the mind, adding that the two, sports and study complement each other.
“Many people think balancing academics with extra-curricular activities is hard but the two actually complement each other. The extra-curricular activities help to relieve the mind of any stress so it is fresh the next time you pick a book up”, says David.
“They enable you to handle more information. Reading continuously for hours tires the mind and makes it shut off after some time, by the end of the day somebody who took one or two hours off for an extra-curricular activity will be better off”.
The Strathmore skipper also says that sports also make one sharper and think faster which gives one an edge in tackling problems or answering questions.
He however acknowledges that balancing can be quite a tricky business. He says that when exams or Continous Assesments approach, it becomes tricky to prioritize.
“When an exam or CAT is approaching, you have to decide whether you are ready enough for the exam to be able to go for practice without affecting your results. That is why last minute reading is never encouraged”.
He attributes his success both on the fields and on the books to good time management. He urges others who find a hard time striking a balance of the two to try out his recipe.
“I can’t take handball as a career because its organization is still in the formative stages and is rather disorganized. Also, it is an amateur sport like most other sports in Kenya with little government funding and limited sponsorship. One cannot depend on it to pay the bills; it is just like a hobby or leisure activity”.
He also asserts that handball in Kenya looks promising and adds that talent should be tapped from secondary school leavers.
“The Kenyan game is very promising. If more students from secondary schools could join clubs after they finish KCSE, the game would be more exciting and grow more”.
He also calls upon the handball federation to put in more effort to see the game’s stature improve.
“The Kenya Handball Federation has to get more organized to promote the game, get more fans to fill up stadiums, encourage players not to quit by making the game worthwhile through sponsorship deals, and decentralize the game instead of having games and teams from just around Nairobi”.
His parting shot;
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy; all play and no work makes Jack a mere toy! Planning and especially time management is everything”.
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