NWU psychologist to accompany SA team to World Games

By Menziwa Msibi

Prof Ankebé Kruger from the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Faculty of Health Sciences has been appointed as psychologist for the South African student team taking part in the World Student Games in Chengdu, China from 28 July to 8 August 2023.

The event marks the 32nd edition of the Summer World University Games, with approximately 8 000 athletes from more than 150 countries expected to compete in 18 different sport codes.

Sheldon Rostron, director for sport on the NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus, recommended Prof Kruger after University Sports South Africa (USSA) reached out to him about a psychologist to accompany the South African student team.

Prof Kruger’s role at the World Student Games will primarily focus on safeguarding the mental health and wellbeing of individual athletes and players.

She says she is beyond grateful for his trust and confidence in her. “This is an indescribable privilege. My wish is for each athlete or player to give their absolute best and to achieve their personal goals, whether it’s a place on the podium or not. Above all, I want them to enjoy every second,” she says.

About Prof Kruger

Prof Kruger's career journey has unfolded with great success. After obtaining her PhD in sport science in 2006, she gained valuable experience in the United Kingdom for a year. In 2008, she joined the NWU's School of Human Movement Sciences as a lecturer, aiming to roll out sport psychology as a subject.

Throughout the years, she gradually started engaging with sports teams and individual athletes as their mental skills trainer. Dedicated to her professional growth, she obtained her honours degree in psychology in 2014, her master's degree in counselling psychology in 2015, and her PhD in psychology in 2020.

She has worked with the South African women’s hockey team and the men’s and women’s hockey teams of the NWU – of which the latter was announced runner-up in the 2023 USSA hockey tournament. She has also assisted the NWU’s first netball team, as well as various school teams and individual athletes from various sporting codes.

Prof Kruger is currently a senior psychologist at the NWU’s Centre for Health & Human Performance (CHHP), where she focusses intensively on sports.


 Prof Ankebé Kruger.

Submitted on Mon, 07/17/2023 - 12:28