Sports News



Sports massage therapy forms an important part of an athlete’s training strategies and improves the recovery period after eccentric exercises. Zami Mbatha is a sports massage therapist, a woman who knows the significance of relaxation of an athlete’s body pre, during and post sporting events.

Shadrack Ngako

23 August 2020

Born on the 26th of August 1981 in Madadeni, Newcastle, Kwa-Zulu Natal. Raised by a single parent which is her mother. She has two brothers and was blessed with two beautiful daughters. Zami is a sports therapist and a proud MSc Chiropractic graduate of the University of Witwatersrand, she specializes in pre- and post-sports massages and sports injuries. Zami is also in possession of other qualifications which also align with sports massage; amongst others she has a Certificate in Ethics and Sports Medicine, Certificate in Emergency Football Medicine and a Certificate in Exercise Therapy, just to name a few.

Zami Mbatha is currently working for the South African Football Association (SAFA), U20 women’s national team, U17 men’s national team, U17 Woman’s national team. Her impressive cv includes having worked amongst others the Lions rugby team and the Springboks (South African national rugby team), also a few Premier Soccer League (PSL) teams like SuperSports United F.C, Amazulu F.C and other international teams including but not limited to the Nigerian and Ghanaian national soccer teams respectfully. It does not end there, because her profession is so flexible it has allowed her to work with other international teams such Hoffenheim TSG F.C (which plays in the German top tier soccer league, the Bundesliga) and many more. Zami has been in the sports industry for fifteen (15) years and is loving every minute of it.  

She reckons athletes need massages at least a minimum of 2 – 3 times in a week as they engage in a lot of exercises and other intensive training on a daily basis. Massage increases range of motion, leading to enhanced performance. Furthermore, it increases the level of relaxation, reduces physical and emotional stress levels, decrease muscle stiffness and soreness after any physical activity. There are different types of massages, and what distinguishes Zami as a sports therapist she said “I am a therapist that manipulates muscles and other soft tissues in the body, to relieve pain, stress and improve wellbeing”. 

Asked whether there are enough women in sports therapy, the vocal Zami Mbatha said unfortunately there is still a big gap in terms of males to female ratio in this field. A point which concerns her however, as an optimistic individual she said as much as there are fewer women in the field this should not deter others to join in as she believes in future other opportunities will present itself and allow them flourish, “I trust God so much and he is my source of strength’’ Zami said. Moreover, she surrounds herself with people who are open minded, positive and inspirational. She does not give up, ‘’indeed I am a MBOKODO’’.

Surprisingly she was born in August and as we know in South Africa August is women’s month, the significance of this month makes sense to her; being a woman that she is, a strong, courageous, persistent, patient and beautiful. “It is very important for women to be well developed’’. She insists that women should never depend on anyone for success, compete with yourself and always have a room for improvement.

For more on this interview please click on the audio link below: