Steval Pumas announce new appointment

Mar 16 • General News, Vodacom Cup • 2189 Views • Comments Off on Steval Pumas announce new appointment

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Photo: Hennie Homann

The Mpumalanga Rugby (PTY) Ltd is proud to announce their latest edition to the coaching staff of the Steval Pumas. Tobias van Niekerk has been appointed as the technical analyst of the professional team.

Hoedspruit boytjie joins Pumas

Tobias van Niekerk, a young sport enthusiast from Hoedspruit is the latest edition to the technical team of the Steval Pumas.
Van Niekerk, who grew up in Hoedspruit, matriculated at the Bushveld Bethel Academy (Phalaborwa) in 2009, has recently been appointed by the Managing Director of the Mpumalanga Rugby (PTY) Ltd, mr. Pieter Burger as the team’s technical analyst.

“Being in an English school, I mainly played soccer, but managed to play in the Vodacom League for clubs since the age of 16. This gave me a head start to major league sport matches and really boosted my enthusiasm,” Van Niekerk commented.
He furthered his studies at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) where he also played for the first soccer team for several years. “It was only in 2012 when I started playing rugby for UJ. I immediately played for the senior first and second teams. During this period I also joined the Moroka Swallows Football Club where he assisted their rehabilitation and conditioning coach,” Van Niekerk continued saying.

According to him, this allowed him to explore other business opportunities and together with the Biokineticist and Exercise Physiologist of the Swallows at that time, they started KineticFocus. They specialize in sport specific conditioning which includes strengthening, fitness, the latest GPS, heart rate technology and speed lights.
“The GPS systems, which the players practice and play with, gives us the opportunity to monitor from their heart rate to the amount of steps they take and the force of impacts made, measured in G-Force, on the pitch,” he explains. Van Niekerk joined the Steval Pumas in mid-February and says his biggest challenge at this stage is to combine both the Stratus statistics and his GPS system’s analysis as one working unit.

The GPS systems used at the Steval Pumas is basically a new trend in the sport, and are utilized by the technical analysts all over the world to manage the performance of players and assist coaches with rotational guidance of the players on a regular basis. Furthermore he has the role as video analyst for both the Steval Pumas and the opponents for post-match feedback by the coaches.

“What I enjoy most about the job? Certainly being involved with sport on a daily basis, then it’s actually interesting to see how far a player can actually push himself without even knowing it. And the fact that I can have an impact on professional sportsmen’s careers,” Van Niekerk concluded.

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