“The infinite game is the game we play to play, not to win. The infinite game is a game of catch in the backyard with your four-year-old son. You’re not trying to win catch; you’re simply playing catch. The most important parts of our lives are games that we can’t imagine winning.” — Seth Godin, The Practice

This goes against the usual mindset of performing tasks with an outcome in mind. This quote refers to sometimes, just performing a task, for the sake of performing the task, and enjoying the space in between. Not every “game” we play needs to lead to an outcome.




Private/South African Rugby Union (SARU)

Janesh Ganda, 33, completed his medical undergraduate degree in 2012 at the University of the Witwatersrand and subsequently completed his master’s in philosophy (sports and exercise medicine) in 2022. His thesis assessed the training load and the injury data of the 2019 Junior Springbok team as they prepared for the Junior World Cup in Argentina.

The aim of this was to assess how training load data in rugby can be used to reduce injury rates in this age group and better understand injury prevention. Janesh is embarking on his PhD through the  University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Calgary, assessing a more comprehensive tool to return rugby players back to play following a concussion, using a COMP Assessment tool.

Janesh is the team doctor for the Springbok Sevens (Commonwealth Games 2022, gold; HSBC World Circuit 2022, silver). He was appointed the Western Cape chair of the South African Sports Medicine Association and is part of the executive committee looking to drive the sports medicine speciality in South Africa through the open access of information and experts, and organising webinars and events within the fraternity.

Janesh previously worked as the team doctor for the Springbok Women (National Women’s Rugby 2018), SA U20 (2019–2021) and SA U18 (2019–2021) teams. This has contributed to his knowledge of the different variables contributing to injury in male and female rugby, as well as in different age groups.

  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand
  • MPhil Sports and Exercise Medicine, University of Cape Town
  • PhD Candidate Sports Medicine (University of the Witwatersrand) candidate

  • Team physician for various teams 
  • I have worked with multiple professional rugby teams in the past six years. These include the Boland Cavaliers, Western Province Rugby, Springbok Women, South Africa Schools, and the Junior Springboks. 
  • Team doctor for the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and selected to tour for the Region V Games in Lesotho (2020) and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (2022). 
  • Appointed the chief medical officer for the Region V Games in Malawi (2022)
  • Team physician for the Springbok Sevens.

Getting my Academic blazer in school was a major mindset shift for me in realising that I can achieve whatever I set my mind and energy to.

Always be willing to take up opportunities as they present themselves. The opportunity does not need to lead to an outcome. The experience in the opportunity is more important.

I would like to make a meaningful impact in advancing the field of SEM in South Africa, which is my motivation to pursue a PhD. The field of SEM in South Africa is quite confined to larger sporting federations. Some are publicly funded which means fewer resources become accessible to the athletes that make up these federations.  Several athletes never make it to high levels of the sport due to a lack of opportunities and injury or illness, which are unfortunately not diagnosed and/or appropriately managed. There are also stories of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality on sports fields due to a policy that is not filtered down. Therefore, the idea is to change this and make SEM more accessible and allow a policy to filter down to the grassroots level. We are well aware of the impact that sport can have on a nation, and I believe that through this principle we can empower the younger generations of athletes to build a more optimistic nation.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

Subcribe to the newsletter