27 September 2022 Volume :10 Issue :44

Graduate Wants to Make a Difference in People’s Lives

Graduate Wants to Make a Difference in People’s Lives
Dr Thanujj Kisten with his supervisor Professor Rowena Naidoo.

PhD graduate in Sports Science Dr Thanujj Kisten says he plans to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives with skills learned during his studies.

‘I feel happy and proud of my accomplishments. Looking ahead, I aim to expand my current biokinetics practice,’ said Kisten, a sessional lecturer at UKZN.

He also hopes to do research specifically around non-communicable diseases.

Kisten, who has always been passionate about sport and helping people, said: ‘I completed my honours in Sports Science and qualified as a biokineticist spurred by a desire to make a difference in people’s lives. My grandmother was my inspiration and it was mainly because of her that I was able to motivate myself to enrol for my master’s and PhD.’

He experienced several challenges during his postgraduate years - some personal and others related to the University with regards to ethics, participant recruitment and the COVID-19 lockdown.

‘During my PhD studies my dad passed on,’ said Kisten. ‘He was my strength, helping me work through all challenges.  My mother and sister also supported me - without their help and motivation I would not be where I am today. I will be forever grateful to them.’

His study focused on developing an anti-doping intervention protocol for U-17 soccer players and, according to Kisten, it is the first in which an anti-doping intervention protocol was guided by the Chaos Theory. 

‘It is evident that changing the starting point in the components of an anti-doping protocol significantly improved the behaviour of participants. Therefore, the Chaos Theory should be taken into consideration when developing an intervention for health-related behaviour change programmes,’ he said.        

‘Overall I had a good experience with my studies at UKZN. I am grateful to the campus and my supervisor, Professor Rowena Naidoo, for her professionalism and guidance.’

Kisten, currently lecturing at Wits University, grew up in Tongaat and matriculated at Seatides Combined School. 

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied

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