Love for basketball drives Bookholane

“Give us a chance and allow us to show you what magic is”

I live my life led by a mantra and love for the game. I think the most uplifting thing I can say is, DO NOT GIVE UP! Do not give up playing. Do not give up coaching. Do not give up officiating. Do not give up on being a leader in basketball. I say this because, every other day someone will question your judgement. Someone will put a red pen on the work that you do or have done. Someone will question or discredit your decisions. Someone will call you an emotional wreck because you cried. Someone wants you to fail!

There have been many times where I thought I was in way over my head. Maybe I still think that today, but all I have done and continue to do is what drives me to do more. And I can be that emotional wreck at times, but I would not be the woman I am today without the emotions that drive me EVERY SINGLE DAY. The emotions make me want to do more. The emotions are what push me to be a part of the rebuild that is long overdue in South African basketball.

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Hale Bookholane officiating during the 2018 Varsity Basketball. Picture: THE BTO

I definitely cannot do it alone. We need to work together. We need to come together. There is power in numbers. Power only we can unleash, and not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of the generations to come. History will judge us for not doing anything. History will judge us for giving up.

I am also a referee

Refereeing takes a toll on you, especially when everyone is waiting for you to make that one mistake.

As officials, we usually talk about limiting those mistakes to as little as none, but we all know that is an impossibility.  If we are right in our decision-making, then coaches, players and fans are happy, but if we are wrong, we are blamed and accused of the worst.

And on a bad day, I will get home, cry my eyes out, send a few messages and voice notes, post a few messages on social media, and go to bed. Surprisingly, the next day I will wake up and want to be better and do better. The love I have for this game is unimaginable and probably why I keep coming back, lol! I think of basketball as the sport that saved my life, and all that I do for it, is my way of saying thank you for all that you have done for me.

Men have to pick up the fight

The one part I have tried to ignore, is the side that many females never want to talk about. The uncomfortable comments you get. The sexual advances. Having to do double the work to prove your worth and capabilities. All because you are a woman. Most of us do not talk about it. But in a time where Gender-Based Violence is at the tip of our tongues and every day you wake up to shattering tales of women and children suffering the worst imaginable violence, it would not be right to sweep this topic under the rug.

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Hale Bookholane is calling an equal level playing field. Picture: Supplied

I think we as women have spoken enough. We as women have reported enough cases. We as women have been raped, abused and murdered enough.

It’s now time for the men to stand with us and fight. Enough talking. We need action!

We talk about creating enabling environments for women to flourish

There is no other enabling environment that can be created for women other than equality.

Women do not need to be treated like a special project in sport, in fact in anything. Women should be given the same opportunities as men. I mean, the same rules apply in basketball for both men and women, right?

So why deny us those opportunities? Or better yet, why delay those opportunities for us? Women are also capable. Women are also hard working. Women can also do anything they put their minds to. Give us a chance and allow us to show you what magic is.



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