VUT Sports latest recruit: Coach Zee is passionate about athletics and growing talent in others
Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Sports welcomes coach Zee, also known as Koketso Mogapi, a former VUT Sport Management student from Zeerust. Koketso came to the Vaal in 2012 to study at VUT but could not complete his studies due to circumstances at home. He then went to North West University – Potchefstroom (NWU PUKKE) in 2015 to finish his studies where he graduated in 2017 as a Sports Scientist.
He chose PUKKE because it was considered as one of the best universities in South Africa in athletics. His love and passion for athletics has taken him out of the negative situation he grew up in, in his neighbourhood. He also chose athletics as a sport because he was bad at football and other sports, but he excelled in athletics and rugby.
What drives him as a coach and an athlete is his dislike for seeing wasted talent. Koketso is always approaching schools and attending athletics competitions to spot talent so that he can train athletes and see them fulfil their potential. His other inspiration is his friend Caster Semenya with whom he studied at PUKKE; in fact, he is her conditioning coach. It was her who convinced him to spot talent and that after doing this, he should use his resources to develop those athletes.
Whenever they’d finish class they would go to the university gym so that she could train because he’d already done his training. He found that the gym instructor was not there most times so he was given the instructor’s job. It is at this time that he began to assist her with her training and to coach her on how to run the 400m event. His coaching career began at VUT but at the time he was only coaching high school athletes. He later advanced to coaching top level athletes in his third year, such as Thato Rakate from PUKKE.
Coach Koketso Mogapi who is a long jump, triple jump and occasionally a 100m athlete boasts personal best records of 10.41sec in 100 metres, 7.86m in long jump and 15.37m in triple jump. In 2012 the coach became the u/23 junior SA (South Africa) silver medallist in triple jump and a year later, in 2013 he became the u/23 junior SA champion. In 2015 he became a senior SA bronze medallist and the USSA (University Sports South Africa) bronze medallist in the long jump. His biggest highlight as an athlete is competing at the African juniors which were held in Botswana in 2011.
The coach has big plans for VUT Athletics the first of which is to win the B category at the Varsity Athletics championships which will be held at TUKS (University of Pretoria) on 02 March 2018. His long term goal is finishing in the top 5 in every USSA tournament they participate in.