Prodigy sets education first

A first-year Poly student, Gabriel Shikodi, regarded as one of the best young amateur Namibian golfers at present, has his sights firmly set on completing his tertiary studies, focussing on education as the best way to ensure that he has the foundation for a successful future.

Shikodi, enrolled in the Poly’s Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (In-STEM) programme, started playing golf in primary school and has developed a passion for the game ever since. He has become a very skilled golfer, having maintained a Top 10 Namibian Amateur ranking since 2012, after winning a number of local amateur golf tournaments.

Shikodi has been awarded national colours and has represented Namibia at the Tri-Nations Junior Golf Tournament in Zimbabwe in 2013, the President’s Cup in Zambia in 2014 and the Zone Six Golf Tournament in Uganda earlier this year. His achievements have resulted in him being ranked as the number one amateur golfer in Namibia.

Despite his potential in the sport, Shikodi, who is a bursary holder of the Frank Fredericks Foundation, has made the successful completion of his tertiary studies his main priority. “My parents have always advised me to focus on my studies because education is the most important thing if one wants to have a good future,” Shikodi says, admitting that balancing the demands of tertiary studies as well as an intense training programme can be difficult. He plans to study towards becoming an electrical engineer.

Former Namibia Amateur Golf Union (NAGU) President and Poly Registrar, Corneels Jafta, believes Shikodi has the makings of an excellent role model for young Namibians. “The fact that he has chosen to focus on obtaining an education, and not to pin all his hopes on being successful in golf is exemplary,” Jafta said. He added that many young golfers make the mistake of focussing too heavily on golf, while their education suffers, and ultimately they do not become successful and have no qualification to fall back on. “Golf as a sport, and especially junior golf development programmes, are good vehicles to develop and improve the self-esteem and conduct of young people, but it’s also the hardest sport to break into as a professional,” Jafta said.

Date: 
Friday, June 12, 2015
for Month: 
June, 2015

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