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Flavia Oketcho: How Long-Serving Basketball Star Keeps Fit And Healthy

JKL Lady Dolphins and Gazelles Captain Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho is arguably Uganda’s best female basketball star ever. Where she ranks among the best ever sportswomen in the country, will be a debate for another day.

Having started out around 1998, Flirsh is still moving strong and has won the league with Lady Bucks, UCU Lady Canons, KCCA Leopards and JKL Lady Dolphins.

The-SportsNation caught up with the star to talk about how she keeps fit and healthy.

Flavia Oketcho Flirsh (black) in action for Uganda Gazelles. Courtesy photo

The-SportsNation: For Starters, how is being fit and healthy relevant in sports?
Flirsh: You can not play sports at a high level without those two. Otherwise then it just becomes P.E. Health is wealth definitely and sometimes we may not get to choose this but its one’s choice to either be fit or not. Without being fit, you can not be effective to your potential.

The-SportsNation: What are the don’ts for an athlete?
Flirsh: Every individual is different and I can only speculate here . Don’ts are wide , and I prefer to have Do’s: Eat right, train and prepare right, Get enough rest, and Give your body time to recover.

The-SportsNation: Talk about how you rest?
Flirsh: Lately its all about resting since there is not much in sports going on. I used to be terrible at sleeping at night but I adjusted that and I make sure I go to bed relatively early and wake early, however with the NBA playoffs now my sleep pattern is all up and about.

The-SportsNation: What are some of the specific workouts you do?
Flirsh: I have learnt to do a lot of leg work since I realised its the part that carries my body (I didnt know before hahaha) when you work on your leg muscles, pressure is taken off your knee which is a plus.

The-SportsNation: Are you a gym person?
Flirsh: Yes sometimes not lately with the pandemic and all. I go to Macos in Nalya , or Paradise Acacia mall or Sheraton if am in town area. Am not specific, just depends on the trainer or gym deal sometimes. However I have learnt a lot of free weight exercises so I make use of home.

The-SportsNation: What’s inside your diet and nutrition?
Flirsh: I have carbs definitely and soft foods. Mainly pasta, rice, chicken, vegetables, fruits especially bananas. Sometimes I will have a protein shake, if am lazy I will opt for an energy drink prior to the game.

The-SportsNation: What’s your full day’s schedule like, especially on a day with no team training?
Flirsh: I do not have a specific day schedule. I just plan a day prior. Most important is taking my daughter to school and picking her up, everything I between can be juggled. On practice and game days, I am blessed to have my mum or dad pick her up from school and do homework with her then go back to their house when I return or before I do because she is safely home by then anyway.

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