Hoërskool Kempton Park appoints new athletic directors

Mark Gläfke and Michael van Aswegen will will handle budgeting, facility maintenance, and coordinating with other school departments.

Hoërskool Kempton Park recently appointed Mark Gläfke and Michael van Aswegen as new athletic directors for the school.

Gläfke said that as the directors of athletics, they will oversee all aspects of the athletic program, including scheduling events, managing coaches at the school, ensuring compliance with regulations, and promoting sportsmanship.

They will handle budgeting, facility maintenance, and coordinating with other school departments. They hope to foster a positive athletic culture within the school and develop their performance to the next level.

ALSO READ: Hoërskool Kempton Park athletes win at SA School Athletics

Gläfke has been part of the Hoërskool Kempton Park family since 2019, teaching geography, life orientation, athletics, and as a rugby coach.

“It is a great honour, and I am proud to contribute to the performance of the school and each athlete,” he said.

“I have been a coach for seven years and have the privilege of working with great mentors who have led and guided me along the way.

Mark Gläfke and Michael van Aswegen are the new athletic directors at Hoërskool Kempton Park.

“Cyril Lawless, a great athletics coach and an exceptional human being, pushed me to success and believed in me to become a coach like him.

“Oupa van fer Merwe, the previous sports director, shared his knowledge and provided advice when needed.”

Gläfke said school sports have become a professional business, and with that, the pressure to succeed has risen.

He said one should aim to first enjoy practising and competing, and thereafter, success will follow.

“I believe you need to enjoy the process. If you enjoy the process, you have won before you have started. To be passionate about something means you do it no matter the outcome, and when passion wanes, you have a ‘why’ you to keep going.

ALSO READ: Hoërskool Kempton Park learner set to represent SA at world championships in USA

“As a teacher and coach for six years, Hoërskool Kempton Park is my alma mater. I believe because of this, Michael and I can work together to achieve past greatness. We focus on tradition and work ethic that align with the school’s ethos,” he added.

Gläfke said he had the privilege to be part of the school when they won the B-division of the NWU inter-schools in 2020, causing them to move up to the A division, where they have been competing since.

“It is important to note that it is not always possible to guarantee a medal at every athletic event. Athletic competitions are meant to be challenging, and winning a medal is not always within one’s control.

“We focus on proper training and preparation, setting realistic goals, mental preparation, and healthy habits on and off the track.”

Gläfke said they train four to five days a week, depending on where they are in the season.

Track sessions range from endurance, technique, speed, and power, while gym sessions focus on explosiveness and plyometrics.

ALSO READ: Hoërskool Kempton Park learner takes on international stage in Los Angeles (US)

Michael van Aswegen, the athletics and cross-country director at Kempies said that before becoming athletic director, he was running an Athletics Academy called Elite Athletics Performance Academy.

Van Aswegen has been coaching athletics for 12 years, heading into his 13th year in September.

“It is both an honour and a privilege for me to be selected as athletic director at my old High School. As a past student, I am passionate about my school and the potential of the children currently attending the school,” said Van Aswegen.

“My vision for athletics of Hoërskool Kempton Park is to see them rise to their full potential, to enjoy and love their sport and add performance-orientated goals once we have developed their youthful talents.”

Van Aswegen said before working at Kempies, he was involved at Aston Manor Primary School and Rynfield Primary School between 2012 and 2021, where he served on various sports committees and had the role of organisational and administrative duties for those sports.

“I have been involved with Kempies for two years, first as an external coach and now as a full-time staff member. My journey at Kempies started with a small group of eager individuals who dared to be great.

“I am proud to say over the last year, my athletes received many accolades ranging from district to provincial and national levels. We have national medallists and national champions in various disciplines,” said Van Aswegen.

He said a coach’s performance is measured in the number of times an athlete can perform at a high level in a season and not the medals won.

ALSO READ: Hoërskool Kempton Park learner launches her comic book

“Medals are the by-product of consistent great performance. My focus as the coach is to make sure my athletes are fit, strong and healthy at the crucial times in a season to perform at their best,” said Van Aswegen.

“My athletes, specifically the middle distances, will train a minimum of five days a week. Four days a week will be guided and structured sessions led by myself.”

Van Aswegen added the fifth session of the week is normally a self-training day or easy run, which the athletes have to do independently.

“I am a firm believer in good quality rest. I try to allow my athletes at least 36 to 48 hours of rest every week so they are ready to train.”

Van Aswegen said Elite Athletics Performance Academy started back in 2019 as a small group of children at Rynfield Primary School.

This kick-started his career as a full-time coach and drove him to learn as much as he could about working with youth athletes and developing them into serious senior-level athletes.

ALSO READ: Hoërskool Kempton Park declared safe after email bomb threat

The group quickly grew to a multidimensional group where he had children just wanting to be outside and running to get fit, to very serious athletes aiming for provincial and national level competitions.

“Elite Athletics offers training for children aged seven to 19, and we work on all fundamentals of being an athlete. We specialise in sprints, hurdles and middle to long distances,” said Van Aswegen.

“At a younger age, children are encouraged to explore and diversify their talents and as they get older, we start to streamline and specialise their events.”

The group trains at Hoërskool Kempton Park on Tuesday and Thursday from 16:30 to 17:30.

Anyone wanting to join the group may contact 083 454 2534.

Back to top button