CAPE TOWN - Some people quickly create this perception that the lives of sportswomen and men are all glitter and good times just because we see them on the flat screen.
This can be far from the truth at times. And that is why Jacqualine Trosee deserves praise.
A single mom who is fighting her way through life’s challenges with the goal of providing her 12-year-old and 10-year-old sons with a solid foundation. When she’s not facing the rigorous task of preparing for her next bout in the Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC), she’s applying herself completely as a trainer in service of her clients in the gym.
“Being a single mom has never been easy for any single mom. I’ve actually been so blessed to have my parents help me,” Trosee said.
“You just want to give your all for your kids, but that isn’t always possible. It’s difficult to be there for my kids financially. I try and give them as much love and attention as I can, and when I’m not doing that I’m focused on building a career so that my boys can be set one day.”
With EFC still growing as a MMA brand, most of the fighters on the roster work a separate job as well, to get by.
"It takes a lot out of a person. It’s really not an easy job, your clients are putting their well-being in your hands to guide them to a better and healthier lifestyle. One always has to be on your game and make them feel good. And sometimes it’s hard, as clients can also sometimes forget that we are human and we aren’t perfect, so we have to keep our head high all the times. So being a mom, a trainer and a fighter is not easy, but with the grace of God I stay strong," Trosee said.
She is as tough as they come. Maybe the fact that she had the same athletics coach as former South African long-distance runners Elana Meyer and Zola Budd when she was a young runner has something to do with her strong character.
Staying focused. Staying motivated . Gonna come back stronger👊#demolitionjacqui #dragonfitmilitia @warren_moodleytrainer #masstronix #efcworldwide #mma #mmafighter #muaythai #muaythaigirls #fitness #powercouple #gohardorgohome #bodybuilding #crossfit #fearnoevil 👊
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If you witnessed how Trosee bounced back from her first fight with flyweight champion, Amanda Lino, you’d understand what I mean.
In her first fight with Lino at EFC 47, she was sent packing in the first round with a Total Knockout result. The contest was a one-sided affair. Some people thought the same thing would happen in the rematch, but boy were they wrong!
Trosee might have lost the fight, but the 31-year-old put up a valiant effort at EFC 60 whereby both fighters’ skills were put to the test. In the end, Lino capitalised with an armlock that sealed the deal.
For some, losing twice to the same opponent can be a tough reality, especially when there is a title shot on the line. However, for Trosee, it was the exact opposite.
“The super fight with Amanda did not in any sense make me feel like I lost. I didn’t win the belt, but I gained so much more. So to me I won that fight, I felt my first fight she got a lucky shot, and with my second one I proved to be the fighter that no one could see in the first fight,” Trosee added.
This Saturday, at EFC 66 in Pretoria, Trosee takes on Morocco’s Rizlen Zouak in the newly-launched bantamweight division.
“I am extremely happy that this weight has opened up. Even though I have made flyweight, it has not been easy for me to drop so much weight before the fight and then be strong as my walking weight has always been in the 60s. So I would have to lose about 10 or more kilograms to make weight. So I'm very happy and feel much stronger about the bantamweight,” Trosee said.
Trosee loves her old-school stand up fighting, as do most natural fighters, but this week, she says we can expect a bit more ground work against an athlete who lives and fights out of Paris.
It would’ve been amazing to see her go toe-to-toe with Zouak considering that the Moroccan loves her stand-up as well, judging by her two Round 2 TKO victories. But considering all this, maybe it’s a good thing that Trosee polishes up her ground work as it could just be the difference on the night. When asked if it ever dawned upon her that she carries a flame of power for women, Trosee says that she had never really thought about herself that way.
“I just see myself as a mom trying my all just to be the best mom to my boys. But do I want to inspire woman and young kids, yes I do,” she adds.
Who knows, maybe one day Trosee can too become an icon in South Africa’s memory book, just like Meyer and Budd.
EFC66 main card fights to be broadcast live on SABC 3 starting at 9pm on Saturday night