Prof Ankebé Kruger - team psychologist for SA student team at World University Games

The Faculty of Health Sciences at the North-West University (NWU) is incredibly proud of Prof Ankebé Kruger, who has been appointed as the South African student team’s team psychologist for the World University Games in Chengdu, China this July. This significant role speaks volumes regarding Prof Kruger's capabilities as a sports psychologist and her remarkable track record of effectively restoring and preserving the mental health and well-being of competing sportsmen and -women across disciplines.

When asked about her aspirations when she decided to venture into sports psychology years ago, Prof Kruger shared: “My dream was to qualify as a psychologist and then to get involved in sport at university level. I am grateful that it has materialised. Being appointed as the team psychologist for the South African student team is an unexpected and tremendous honour.”

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 UK for a year. In 2008, she joined the NWU's School of Human Movement Sciences as a lecturer, aiming to roll out Sports Psychology as a subject. Through 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 is currently employed as senior psychologist at the NWU’s Centre for Health and Human Performance (CHHP), where she can focus intensively on sport.

Regarding her selection as the South African student team’s team psychologist, Prof Kruger explained: “The University Sports South Africa (USSA) delegation management reached out to Mr Sheldon Rostron, the NWU director of Sport, requesting a psychologist to accompany the South African student team to the World University Games. Mr Rostron recommended me for this role, and I am beyond grateful for his trust and confidence.”

In her upcoming role at the World University Games Prof Kruger will primarily focus on safeguarding the mental health and well-being of individual athletes/players and groups. This huge responsibility aligns perfectly with her passion for mentally empowering athletes to overcome challenges and excel in their performance.

To Prof Kruger, this is an indescribable privilege and the highlight of her career thus far. When asked about her hopes for the South African student team, she shared: “My wish is for each athlete or player to give their absolute best and to achieve their personal goals, whether it is a place on the podium or not. Above all, I want them to enjoy every second.”

This opportunity certainly testifies to Prof Kruger’s expertise and dedication to sports psychology. The Faculty of Health Sciences congratulates her on this achievement and wishes her and the South African student team the best at the upcoming World University Games.

Prof Ankebe

Prof Ankebé Kruger

Submitted on Tue, 06/27/2023 - 07:54