Good day fellow sports fanatics and welcome to just my second edition of Team Talk. I had the privilege of inviting Athi Mayinje into the sheds for a Q & A session. Athi is a pro athlete, a dedicated coach who loves to give back to the game by mentoring younger athletes and an all-round good guy. He hales from Grey High School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I know he will inspire you as he has inspired me….
Tell us where you grew up and how you came to know the Lord?
I’m born and bred in Port Elizabeth South Africa. Spent my formative years in a Christian household In Kwazakele where I would attend church with my grandmother and mother before my mother married and we moved out of my grandmother’s place .
Which sports do you compete at and what is the highest level you have reached?
I compete in the sport of rugby. I have played at provincial level for Eastern Province from u12 to the senior team in the Currie Cup 1st Division and SuperSport Cup .
Where did sport all start for you?
Sport Started in the township for me. With not much technological accessories, all we had was outdoor games. We would often have competitive games against another street where each player would bring 50c and a soccer game would be played. That was before primary school . I was always one of the youngest but I loved and enjoyed playing for my street with my friends. We mainly played the sports on TV — cricket and soccer mainly, only played rugby in primary school.
What has sport taught you other than the importance of fitness?
Discipline, drive and the relentless pursuit at being the/your best at whatever you do.
What would you say is the highlight of your time competing at school level?
Would say being part of the “Golden age group” that never lost a provincial game in EP colours from u12- u18 and winning u13 and u18 Craven Week .
Being part of of the Grey 1st XV of 2014
And what would you say is your highlight at post school level?
Winning the u19 Currie Cup Premier Division for the first time ever by an EP team.
Nominated for Currie Cup 1st Division player of the year and joint top try scorer .
Name some of the challenges that you have experienced on and off the field during this pandemic?
Training methods had to be altered. The wait for competition has been almost unbearable. Just been training for over a year with no competitive competition to take part in.
How do you live out your faith in Jesus on the sports field?
I aim to bring Him Glory. By offering my body as a sacrifice and my effort as offering of thanksgiving and gratitude for what He has enabled me to do.
What would you say is your greatest challenge about being a Christian athlete?
Finding your identity outside of the sport and not basing your identity on your performances and what people say or what you achieve through them.
But your Identity being firmly rooted in God, His performance and what He thinks and says about you .
In closing…. what is your favorite Bible verse, what motivates you to play and what parting words can you leave with our readers?
I play because I’m passionate about the game. I play because I know with the talent God has given me, so much more can be attained. I play because I want to make my family proud. I play because I love competition.
Isiah 40:31 — But those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.
So, in your pursuit of your dreams and goals, this verse says if you trust in Him you will run and not grow weary, walk not grow faint, meaning you will have sustained energy, you will be able to keep going, keep moving forward .
“Success is energy that never grows despondent”
That concludes our Q & A with Athi. Testimony is always so powerful. Beloved, I’m sure the Lord is speaking to each of you in a different way as you ponder and reflect on what Athi has shared. I would love to hear from you. You are welcome to leave a comment in the comment section below or if you have any questions on salavation or faith, or if you would like to share your testimony with me you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, God bless