Sports is more than a healthy hobby for some. It is a passion that drives them to pursue their talent to the maximum. A passion that sees them yearning to share their lifestyle with others. One such individual is Johny Msimanga.
As a professional tennis coach at St Dominics Newcastle, Johny explains his journey in the sports world began as a child playing soccer. Never imagining that sports would dominate his life.
“I became a teacher and taught in Frankfurt for 27 years, eventually becoming a deputy principal. During this time, I coached athletics, cross country and tennis. In fact, during my time as deputy principal, I was responsible for extra-curricular sports activities.”
However, coaching at school was not enough for Johny. He needed to do more and take sports to his community.
“I introduced road running to the Namahadi township. I eventually started the Namahadi Champs, a road running club, and managed to identify several talented people. As well as help train and coach them.”
One of the people he trained was Joseph Mphuthi, the runner-up in this year’s Comrade’s Marathon.
Johny eventually retired in 2014, moving to Newcastle and doing a course on sports coaching and fitness through Boston College.
“I then started Johny’s Tennis Academy in Arbor Park. However, I was offered a position with Curro and now coach tennis at St Dominics Newcastle.”
Coaching both adults and children on the joys of the tennis court, Johny is thrilled about his position as tennis coach at St Dominics Newcastle.
“I obtained my Level One National Institutional Certification in 2016, never looking back. It is like I have been given a second chance in life. I worked with children as a teacher and I still have the chance to make a positive contribution with children now.”
What are the benefits of playing tennis?
“You can play tennis into old age, unlike a lot of other sports. It exercises all your body’s muscles. And because it involves a lot of thinking and instant decision making, it stimulates your mind as well,” he says.
As an avid sports enthusiast, Johny encourages people to take up sports. He feels that it is instrumental for children to find a home in sports.
“Sports keeps one away from bad influences such as alcohol and drugs. It also keeps you healthy and mentally active,” he explains.
But how does one take up tennis in Newcastle?
To receive tennis coaching, contact Johny Msimanga 072 722 9968, Christiaan Brink on 072 636 9693 or Damian Bosch on 074 112 0375.
Well done to Johny for dedicating his life to coaching children and promoting a healthy lifestyle.