It’s a known fact that football is a male – dominated sport, however while that is the case there are many strong and hard working women who have defied the odds to pursue successful careers. Unfazed by lack of parity, these women have and continue to make immense contribution to the sport.
One of these women is TS Galaxy Physiotherapist Lauren Tate, whose impressive track record and wealth of experience caught the attention of The Rockets, who roped her in as they prepare for their debut National First Division (NFD) season.
Tate began her career at Ajax Cape Town soon after completing her BSc in Physiotherapy in 2007, and has been working in the football industry ever since, with BidVest Wits, Highlands Park and Mpumalanga Black Aces among some of her former employers.
Speaking to galaxyfc.com Tate describes her job as highly demanding trade that requires lots of patience, dedication and hard work.
“It is a lot of hard work but this is the job I do and specialize in. It starts from off the field in what we call the foundation phase, which includes what players need to eat, how we train and how we recover after train” says Tate.
“That takes a special kind of person with a lot of patience because players are different. Some are young some older, some come from different places and have different attitudes. So you need to know how to work with individuals on a one – on – one at times, but similarly in a group you also need to understand the dynamics”.
“Other than that I also cover training sessions. I do warm ups before the start of training sessions, and then when the coach takes over I then sometimes work with injured players if there are any, here I work with initial phase injuries, that’s the treatment phase.
“Once they’re up and running that’s rehabilitation, that’s the phase where we move the player from the physio bed back to the field to do various drills based on the position they play so that they can return to full training with the rest of the squad”.
The Durban – born physiotherapist prides herself for having contributed to the Absa Premiership promotion of Aces (2013), Highlands (2016) and Black Leopards (2018).
Tate also counts among her achievements helping Banyana Banyana to their 2016 Rio Olympics qualification.
According to Tate while there are challenges faced by women in football due to the male – dominated nature of the sport, she says has learned to handle them.
“You obviously have a lot to prove in football as a woman, but sometimes there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re good at what you do as it keeps you on your toes. You’re able to work through those challenges by showing that you know what you’re doing, and those people who initially doubted you will come around”.
“Yes there are difficulties we come across but to ladies I say just keep pushing, and when you have a challenge you need to find a way to overcome it, work hard and don’t stop just because a challenge has come through”.
“And to the ladies who feel targeted we need to work together, we need to protect each other, we need to make sure that we don’t find ourselves in places that make us vulnerable”.