South Africa’s freestyle footballer Ashley Mkhize has advised athletes interested in freestyle football to train hard to enhance their skills in the game.
Mkhize gave the advice while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria after the maiden Africa Freestyle Football Championships in Lagos.
The freestyle footballer, who was in Lagos to participate in the competition, said stardom could only be attained through hard work and commitment.
NAN reports that Mkhize is the first South African to win a medal in the 2017 Superball World Freestyle Football Open Championships, where he finished third in the event in Prague, Czech Republic.
He said his career in the sport, which started eight years ago, had taken him to many places and exposed him to many opportunities.
He said: “I started my career eight years ago.
“My career has taken me far and has also opened opportunities for me in life.
“My advice to the young ones is to train hard, whether freestyle or any other sports they are interested.
“The reward will come naturally.
“All they need to do is to consistently work on their craft so that they can be the best in what they are doing.”
The number three freestyle footballer in Africa, said he was in Nigeria not just for the sport but also to have a feel of the culture in the country.
Mkhize said: “I am here not only for the championships but because Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa with rich culture.
“I came to experience the culture and get a feel of what Nigeria is all about and I must commend the organisers for putting up this competition to enhance freestyle football in Africa.”
He commended Feet ‘N’ Tricks International for staging the championships to promote freestyle football in Africa.
NAN reports that championships, which began on September 13, ended on Saturday at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island.
NAN also reports that Freestyle football, which is also known as freestyle soccer in North America, is the art of self-expression with a football, while performing various tricks with any part of the body.
Prizes worth $50,000 and a car were won by participants in the fiesta.