It is obviously hard to say goodbye to the fame, fortune and fan adulation that comes with playing sports.
Mascom Volleyball League side Kutlwano men’s volleyball club has got one such athlete.
Despite his old age, Shadrack Kapeko is still donning the white and black stripes.
35-year-old Kapeko’s wear-and-tear of lengthy career on volleyball courts has resulted in some commentators asking when the player is retiring.
The seasoned volleyball player from Omaweneno village in the Kgalagadi district started playing volleyball for his Kutlwano club way back in 1993.
Employed as a Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC)’s sports development officer responsible for central region and based at Serowe village, Kapeko has been in the game for such a long time.
He now knows the game like the back of his palm.
But some are of the view that the player’s hands and legs are now tired and it is time for the legendary volleyball player to pave way for the upcoming talent in the game of volleyball.
However, despite his advanced age, Kapeko believes he is not embarrassing himself on the volleyball courts.
“In fact, I am still playing at the top of my game,” said Kapeko.
The dark skinned player, who packs a powerful spike, said the legs are still strong enough to carry him through on the volleyball courts.
“Many journalists have asked me that question (of when is he deciding to retire),” said the senior national team player.
Kapeko said retiring because of age is psychological. He said if a player tells himself or herself that he/she has grown past his/her playing days then one stops performing. “The age issue is just a belief,” he said.
His coach, Isaac Samuel conceded that Kapeko’s age is advanced. However, Samuel has got no choice but to select Kapeko in his first six for the next three years, at least.
“At Kutlwano, we have been trying to come up with another Kapeko but in vain,” said the pint-sized Samuel in an interview.
Samuel described Kapeko as a hard working, passionate and disciplined player. According to the coach, Kapeko has got the right attitude for the game of volleyball.
“Kapeko is hard to replace. Despite his advanced age, he is still going strong. This is so because he trains very hard even on his own,” explained Samuel.
Samuel urged young volleyball players to emulate the talented Kapeko.