For years the experience of life after professional sports has been a daunting one in the African context. In some sporting codes professional athletes find themselves enjoying the spoils of their contracts during their active years and then find themselves wanting and scrambling in the wake of their new lifestyles.
In he's hay days retired cricketer Qaasim Adams scored plenty of runs around the country with stats that only puts his name amongst some the top players that our country has produced. He's story all really started
watching his dad and his brother play from alongside the field and eventually took up cricket at the age of 5, playing “Bakers Mini cricket” which is more commonly know now as “KFC Mini cricket” played by juniors around the country.
Having gone to a Model –C school, he was not able to play school for his cricket and got involved with club cricket at a very young age. He started his junior club cricket at Ottomans CC and moved to United CC at the age of 12. He made his 1st team debut at 16 years of age playing in the 1A league filled with quality cricketers around him. As he continued to grow and progress through the ranks of Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA), Qaasim represented WPCA at U13, U15, U17, U19 as well as South Africa U17 sides. His drive and dedication towards the game saw him get called up to the WP academy side and eventually the WP amateur side. Consistence in the amateur side warranted a professional contract with the Cape Town based franchise Cape Cobras. Lack of opportunities at the Cape Cobras saw Qaasim leave for greener pastures, heading up north to the Pretoria based franchise the Titans. The first couple of months took some settling in with his family only joining him later on. Qaasim looks back at those 5/6 years of his life at the Titans as ones that he cannot have any complains about other then it was cut short prematurely. It was a stepping stone for him in achieving all his goals but one, which was to play for the Proteas. The highest level that he played at was the South African ‘A’ side. However, when looking back at the guys he was competing with, the likes of AB De Villiers, Faf Du Plessis, JP Duminy all in their prime and stacking up runs, he says “I can look myself in the mirror and say, I gave it my all”.
On a SA ‘A’ tour to Australia during a recovery day, he injured his eye that left blurriness in his right eye and not knowing the severity of the injury he continued with the tour as well as for the remainder of the season. He went and saw an eye specialist that basically told him that being a professional sportsman is not something he would be able to be anymore. This made him think about life after cricket more evidently now. He started studying at the age of 29 getting his coaching levels from CSA as well as a diploma in personal training and strength and conditioning through eta College. When asked about his eta College experience as a professional player studying, he said they were very accommodating, from having to go on away games and overseas tours, they were very helpful and he cannot be more grateful to them. Qaasim says he has always been a very driven person and lockdown has certainly given him the time to think and ponder about what he is going to do now post his cricketing career. The qualification help set him up to start his own business from home called QA Sports Specific. Qaasim now dedicates his time to his new venture and says he absolutely loves what he is doing now. The new routine that he has gotten a custom to now is a little different from what he was used to, where he was set on getting workout programs for himself at the 1st of every month to now setting up workout programs for his clients.
The business has started small from his home in Goodwood and has seen clientele continue to grow. The long term vision for QA Sports Specific according to Qaasim is to see him grow in to his own space away from home where he can set up his gym and cricket nets next to his gym as wells obviously seeing his clientele continue to grow. His drive to this long term goal comes from his family in having to do what he has to provide for them. He still hasn’t given up on his coaching qualification and will integrate this as part of QA Sports Specific business once sport resumes back to normal again. He will be coaching at Primrose CC for the upcoming 2020/21 WPCA season. Although he says that the fire and desire for playing cricket has definitely eased hence him knowing that it was the right time for him to hang up his boots. However, he will see once the season begins if that fire reignites.
All in all Qaasim says he is much happier now knowing that he has studied and created a platform for himself for a career post cricket. When asked what advice he would give to the younger generation he said “keep all your options open, whether it is studying or playing cricket, make sure you have options. If sport is your desires then make sure you leave no stone unturned”. He also says that because he couldn’t go to any of the so called “big schools” but he didn’t let circumstances determine the outcome of his life and is certainly a word of advice he would give to the younger generation.
"The key to unlocking your future potential finds itself when gravity no longer holds you down because you've decided to jump in"
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(5 JAN 2021 rollout)