A conversation with Sports Management major and role-model Amy Wanday
This month, GBS sports management bachelor students, Amy Wanday, was nominated as one of the 100 most influential young Kenyans in 2018. Amy is the founder of the African Sports Network, a support system for African students to excel in school as well as in sports.
While waiting for the voting results to be revealed, we caught up with Amy to ask her a few burning questions about herself and her project. Read the full interview below.
What is the mission statement of your organization, African Sports Network (ASN)? What does it do?
African Sports Networks is a youth enterprise which aims to increase engagement and awareness in the sports industry. We believe in the power, innovation, and creation of ideas by young people that will challenge the way we think of sport.
We want to motivate engagement in the sports industry and in the long term to expand Africa’s sports business industry whilst proving that sport is a viable career path in Africa.
What led you to create ASN?
It was the realisation that something needs to be done about the sports industry generally, after not getting an opportunity to be an athlete, after experiencing challenges in the sport industry, after being told that I can’t pursue a career in the sports industry because of, first, my gender, and second, that it is not professional enough and that I should become a lawyer instead.
I decided to do it because I wanted to make sure that there are no other young people out there who would like to join the sports industry, yet feel that they are limited or that it’s not a viable career path. Our main objective is to prove that sport is, in fact, a viable career path for those who are passionate about it.
How do you manage to balance life at GBS, your organization and your social life?
I generally have an understanding that I am young and as a young person, I have decided to sacrifice my time and effort from socializing, partying and other things that young people are supposed to do. That is a sacrifice I have decided to make because I believe that I will get my time back and what I am doing is worth making those sacrifices.
What is non-negotiable is trying to convince me to socialize or live like the common youth. I have decided the life I want for myself and I believe that you are never too young to do something revolutionary so I will never be put down when told to stop being too serious or stop working on what I am passionate about.
How is it going so far with ASN? Has the response been positive? Did you suffer any setbacks? If so, what did they teach you?
This is a tricky question. With ASN, I can’t say that I have had any large failure so far. What I have realized is that I do have several regrets. I have learned that you will never lose for being too ambitious and for reaching out and asking for help. I’ve been in situations where if I was a bit more aggressive about securing a partnership if I was a bit more ambitious if I sent proposals earlier and if I didn’t waste time then things would be 5 times better than they are, even if everything worked out in the end.
I’ve learned that I should never be too calm or feel like I’m being too much and that I should be more ambitious when securing a deal, be more straightforward, never fearing to ask for what I want and, above all, not doubting the value of the service that we are providing.
What drives you to keep going when it gets tough?
When it gets tough my vision really drives me, the fact that I know it’s something bigger than myself; I do it for the people. If I give up, where is everyone going to get their hope from? I know that I can’t give up because there are so many people who are looking to me for inspiration, there are so many people who believe in this now because of me so if I give up, it will all be a wasted cause.
I really do it for the people, more than for myself, and when you have an enterprise for the people – for the youth especially – it definitely needs to drive you, to push you and it pushes me to be better and to do better, otherwise, I would be letting everybody down. It’s not only about myself.
Thank you, Amy, for these inspiring words. We wish you the best of luck with ASN, a truly amazing initiative. To visit the African Sports Network website, click here.
On behalf of Amy, we wish to thank everyone who voted for her in these past weeks and we can’t wait for the results, even though we can already proudly say that Amy is an inspiration, an influencer, and a bright young leader!