Experienced coach Relton Booysen has taken time away from his busy schedule to lead the u19 Spartans in the Cape Basketball Cup this weekend.
The much-anticipated festival will see some of the biggest names in the Cape Town basketball community in action. The addition of Booysen to the event delivers the knowledge and leadership of a highly respected coach to an intriguing competition.
Booysen told SuperSport Schools he has been preparing his team diligently for the tournament, focussing on both physical conditioning and basketball fundamentals.
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“We’ve been working on our shooting, defence, and teamwork extensively. What you can expect from us is a group of dedicated young athletes who will give their all on the court. We aim to play our best, support each other, and show our commitment to the sport,” he explained.
Booysen said basketball is a popular sport in South Africa, but its growth remains on a pleasing upward trajectory.
“Youth tournaments like this one (the Cape Basketball Cup) are incredibly important as they provide a platform for young talent to showcase their skills. These events inspire the next generation of players and contribute to the growth of basketball in the country,” he said.
SuperSport Schools is excited to announce the launch of “The Class of ’23“, a two-hour special to premier at 7pm on the 16th of December, featuring the 500 school and youth athletes who truly lit up the stage this year, as well as our announcement of the 30 boys and girls who will make up our inaugural “Class of ’23”.
This special will have numerous repeats, as well as be backed by a significant on-air and social/digital promotional media campaign.
We invite you to be part of this journey by nominating unforgettable moments, outstanding athletes, and inspiring coaches. Your participation will help us recognise and showcase the true stars and stories of 2023.
Sports can serve as powerful tools for positive changes in communities. Booysen listed discipline, teamwork, and a healthy lifestyle as some of the benefits of basketball.
In areas like Hout Bay and Athlone, where there are many socio-economic challenges, basketball provides an escape, a means to build self-esteem and, crucially, it offers a sense of belonging. It presents opportunities and role models for young people to aspire to, Booysen said.
To get the community involved, individuals such as coach Booysen engage in outreach programmes, host local events, involve schools, and encourage youth participation. They want the community to see and share in the positive impact of the sport.
To keep his team motivated, Booysen sets achievable goals for the Spartans, and he encourages them to celebrate small victories.
“Huge emphasis [is placed] on the importance of teamwork and the role each player plays in our success. We also create a positive and supportive environment where players feel valued and encouraged,” he said.
“Ultimately, it’s about reminding them of their love for the game and the joy of improvement.”
Every basketball coach, player, and organiser will inevitably face tests. At the development level, coach Booysen said: “We encounter challenges, like limited access to facilities and resources, which can hinder player growth.
“We also face the need for more coaching and mentorship programs to nurture talent.
“Additionally, raising awareness about basketball and competing with other popular sports for attention and funding is a constant challenge.
“Despite these hurdles, we’re committed to overcoming them and growing the sport in South Africa.”
Coach Relton Booysen: Career Highlights
His career goes back to the early 1990s when Booysen turned out for the Outlanders Basketball Club’s 1st team. He also played for the Stellenbosch Basketball team and the Heideveld Rookies 1st team.
In 2008, he became the Head Coach of Heideveld Rookies. Since then, he hasn’t looked back. He has elevated his career as a coach, taking charge of, among others, the Western Cape, Gugulethu Basketball Club and Northern Cape Zebras.
Booysen also served as head coach of the Cape Town Tigers in the Basketball Africa League (BAL). Over a period of three years with the Tigers, he led the side to a Cape Town Championship in 2021, the Coastal Championship, the SA National Championship, the Basketball Africa League top 8, and third place in the BAL Conference.
Currently, he serves as SID Basketball’s Head Coach and General Manager. In 2018, he led the club to a Cape Classic Championship. In 2021, they finished top of the log in the CTBA.
Booysen’s experience will be a huge benefit to the young Spartans as they chase the honours in the Cape Basketball Cup this weekend.
A passionate reader and dedicated writer, Siya possesses three degrees from Rhodes University including a Postgraduate Diploma at Rhodes University. He also played amateur cricket and soccer, both during his university years. While honing his journalism skills at Grocott’s Mail in Makhanda, he developed a profound interest in the community’s response to crime. Additionally, he covered topics such as art/culture and student politics at Rhodes University in 2022. In his spare time, Siya can be found exploring galleries, dining at restaurants, indulging in literature, taking photographs or savouring his favourite dish, spaghetti.