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Personality of the week - Angombe dreams of continental success

2024-02-22  Maurice Kambukwe

Personality of the week - Angombe dreams of continental success

Can you share your journey to becoming a physical fitness coach? What initially sparked your interest in this field?

My mother instilled the significance of exercise in my brother and me at a very young age. She would wake us up early in the morning to join her exercise in her room, and sometimes she’d take us for a jog. At around 8 or 9 years old, we would cover distances of up to 10 kilometres running. In addition to my mother’s influence, my grandmother also played a role in conditioning us to endure physical challenges. She motivated us to work in the fields and walk long distances to fetch firewood. Through this labour, I realised my strength.

Upon moving to Windhoek in 1998/99, I encountered a different environment where hard labour was not prevalent. However, I continued to draw upon my upbringing. Despite encountering troublemakers along the way who would attempt to snatch our belongings, I remained committed to attending coaching clinics in Khomasdal, walking from Okuryangava. The conditioning from my upbringing made the distance manageable, but the threat from troublemakers posed a challenge. Nevertheless, I persevered, determined to learn from the coaches at these sessions.

Inspired by what I learned, I began training my brother, cousin, and friend behind our house. This led to the formation of a soccer team and, later, a boxing club. From those humble beginnings, my journey in this field began, and the rest, as they say, is history.

What qualifications do you possess that have prepared you for your role as a fitness coach?

I hold a Diploma in Sport Science and Management from Eta College Bloemfontein, while my brother who serves as the head trainer at our fitness establishment, MA Legitimate Fitness Outdoor Services holds a Diploma in Fitness Training from Shadonai College, Windhoek.

Could you describe what your job as a physical fitness coach typically involves and what aspects of fitness you focus on with your clients?

Our fitness regimen primarily focuses on strength and conditioning, emphasising active strength training over passive methods such as running with weights or sandbags. For boxers, active strength training involves exercises that build muscle while maintaining a sprinting pace or punching speed.

In terms of conditioning, our approach focuses on muscle cardio, lung capacity, and vascular cardio training. These exercises significantly increase heart rate and contribute to boosting the immune system. It’s worth noting that individuals undergoing this type of training regimen, such as boxers in training camps, are less prone to catching illnesses like the flu or cough because of the strengthened immune system.

Was there someone or something that inspired you to pursue a career in physical fitness coaching? If so, how did they influence your decision?

I haven’t found a mentor or source of inspiration in the physical fitness realm because many individuals in the field seem to follow the same patterns. 

Nowadays, it’s common to see trainers and coaches who don’t practice what they preach. Some people are overweight or rely on artificial supplements, and the authenticity of their physical appearance and physique is questionable. As a result, I haven’t identified someone whose practices and values align with my own in the fitness industry.

What are some of the challenges you face in the fitness coaching space, and how do you overcome them?

One of the challenges we encounter is a lack of understanding, particularly from clients who are eager to lose weight. While they express a strong desire to shed pounds, many fail to grasp that exercise alone, without addressing dietary habits, is insufficient for weight loss. 

Individuals need to commit to both a structured diet programme and a fitness regimen while also allowing themselves sufficient time to see results. However, patience often proves to be in short supply, leading many to become discouraged and ultimately give up. As a coach, this presents a significant challenge, as it means losing out on potentially impactful projects.

From your perspective, what is your assessment of the fitness industry today? What trends or changes have you observed over the years?

Over the years, the fitness industry has experienced a remarkable surge, with numerous indoor and outdoor fitness establishments thriving. This proliferation indicates that their services are widely used by the public. Additionally, various sports and recreation clubs have become increasingly competitive in their offerings. This trend underscores the growing emphasis placed on physical fitness and well-being in society.

For someone considering a career in fitness coaching, what advice would you give them? Is it a career worth pursuing?

Pursuing a career in the fitness industry can be highly rewarding, but it requires a significant amount of patience and dedication to navigate the market and establish oneself in the field.

Can you share any memorable success stories or transformations from your clients that highlight the impact of coaching?

One of my earliest successes was overseeing the training camp of Paulus Ambunda leading up to his victorious World Championship title fight (IBO) in 2018 in Singapore. We provided him with one of the most rigorous training camps of his entire boxing career. Commentators and reporters couldn’t help but praise his exceptional physique and top-notch conditioning on the day of the fight, highlighting the effectiveness of our training regimen.

Who are some prominent figures or types of individuals you typically deal with in your role as a fitness coach? 

While I typically maintain confidentiality regarding my clientele, I can share that among them are notable individuals such as the senior male Khomas Nampol football team, which competes in the NPFL, as well as the Khomas Nampol women’s senior football team. Additionally, I’ve had the privilege of providing training sessions for esteemed figures such as Hon. Emma Kantema-Gaomas, the Deputy Minister of Sport, Youth, and National Services, as well as renowned athletes like Paulus ‘Hitman’ Moses, Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo, and Devin Somseb, among others.

How do you stay updated with the latest developments, research, and techniques in the fitness industry to ensure you’re providing the best service to your clients?

One of my hobbies is to keep researching and reading new techniques, so I am always up to date.

Have you ever had the opportunity to work with a national sport team or elite athletes? If so, what was that experience like for you?

Working with elite athletes like local professional footballer Lazarus Kaimbi and Congolese boxer Ardi Tembo underscores your dedication to delivering exceptional sports training services. 

Organising Tembo’s training camp in partnership with AC Boxing Promotions, which involved his journey from the UK, showcases the international trust and esteem your services attract. 

These experiences undoubtedly enhance our professional development and solidify our reputation within the industry.

Do you have a dream or aspiration to work with a national team in the future? If yes, which team, and why?

Indeed, I believe I am the missing puzzle, and I am confident that my expertise could be the crucial element needed to propel the senior soccer national team towards more victories at the Afcon and secure qualification for the World Cup.

Looking ahead, where do you envision yourself five years from now in your career as a fitness coach? Are there any specific goals or milestones you hope to achieve by then?

I envision our establishment providing fitness services across the entire SADC region, if not extending our reach to encompass the entirety of Africa.

2024-02-22  Maurice Kambukwe

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