Limpopo-born Dr Koketjo Tsebe has become a renowned Sports Psychologist in the South African sports fraternity. Tsebe graduated with a BA degree majoring in Psychology at the University of Limpopo. She obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Fort Hare choosing a topic on Sports Psychology.

She has also worked for the One Military in Tshwane, Steve Biko Hospital, SAPS, and the Gauteng Department of Health.

But it’s her work within the sports fraternity that has caught people’s attention. Her first gig in Sports was working together with Softball South Africa. She has also since done work with SASCOC, SAIDS, TUT and UNISA.

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The  Mahwelereng-born, who obtained her Ph.D. at the age of 30, shares her journey in the sports industry.

“It’s been an awesome journey and a learning curve for me and a great experience. Different sporting codes has different dynamics and different personalities,” said the current Banyana Banyana Team Psychologist.

Dr Tsebe still has ambitions of working with various sporting codes. She hinted that there could be something in the pipeline, although she didn’t want to divulge much.

Limpopo-born Dr Koketjo Tsebe: Making huge strides in sports psychology
Dr Koketjo Tsebe at work


“I am happy with the progress so far, remember I have already done SASCOC which has multiple sporting codes. So it has been great. Locally I am happy but as much as I’m happy I would also be open to working with other different sporting codes on a long-term basis.”

Tsebe is of the view that there is a dire need to open up about mental health in sports. Something that also remains taboo to talk about in society. But she remains optimistic that there is progress in addressing the stigma.

“There is a very minimal growth, unlike not having anything [growth in dealing with mental health]. So I think we are headed in the right direction.”

Dr Koketjo Tsebe from Limpopo-born making huge strides in sports psychology
Dr Koketjo Tsebe at SAFA House

More and more athletes all over the world have also embraced the issue and have become open about what they deal with in public. Tsebe believes the more well-known athletes people come out, the better to deal with the stigma.

“It’s getting into a recognized field. It’s getting its own space and I think also with the role of media creating awareness and mostly athletes coming out to speak about mental health is also playing a role because there are a lot of athletes in recent years who came out to speak about their issues. We need to challenge the stigma around mental health especially in sports.”