Thando Zono is Motivational Speaker who is a former South African National Player, former award-winning UMass Field Hockey Player, FirstTeam All American and hockey coach. She is the author of The Pursuit of Excellence: Learning to be nothing short of EXTRAORDINARY. This book is a true-life account of Thando’s journey in hockey that brought her from a small town in South Africa to landing full athletic scholarship at a Division I US University and the lessons learned to get to that level and excel in it. While also pursuing her Masters degree she has worked closely with athletes and is passionate about building leaders, changing mindsets and improving performance. She uses insights from the competitive world of sports that parallel the competitive world of life. Having experiences in addressing different audiences, she empowers people by sharing her positive message in creating a culture of success. Her personal philosophy is to choose to be great and keep thriving. 


Sample Presentations:

  • Find The Passion, Create The Fire And Build An Incredible Life
  • Chasing Excellence 
  • Bouncing Back From A Setback
  • Building Your Thriving Season

Sample Presentation
Find The Passion, Create The Fire And Build An Incredible Life Chasing Excellence Bouncing Back From A Setback Building Your Thriving Season




“ Thando has an amazing ability to connect with people.  Her ability to motivate and inspire self reflection in unique.  She is an incredible role model for student-athletes and all young people, which comes out in her narrative of self sacrifice and ability to persevere through adversity .


Carla Tagliente - Head Coach Prince University

Field Hockey


“ Thando most recently put together a very inspirational talk for my school’s Sports Jam-giving advice on how to advance as players and academics. Thando, thank you for re-igniting passion in my young stars. You have them focused and aiming to achieve bigger and better; constantly improving.


Rozan Gilbert - Sports & Co-Curricular Co-Ordinator, St George's Grammar School


Thando came to speak our community on Wednesday night, right before the beginning of our athletic season, and needless to say both students and adults felt like they could walk on water after her words of inspiration! Thando Zono weaves together an excellent combination of being realistic with one's self while always pushing to stretch one's capabilities. Her motto and sign off, "keep thriving" provides an excellent mantra for the people who experience her presentation to hang onto and to keep pushing forward, no matter what adversity they may face. I would highly recommend that everyone should catch one of her presentations, as you will leave feeling like you can tackle any daunting task you may be facing."


Erik Sudnik - Director of Athletics, Hopkins Academy


Thando provided the teens at Holyoke Public Library with a highly personalized workshop experience. She easily adapted to a smaller group and the workshop felt like an inspirational conversation with pearls of wisdom and humor. Thando works well with the adolescent age group and helped the teens in our group to think about their future and set positive goals for themselves.


Rachel Dowd – Teen Outreach Librarian, Holyoke Public Library


When Thando spoke to our Young life group they were quiet and listened intently. The kids were encouraged by her talk and remembered the principles she brought forward.


Lauralee Harrington – Co-ordinator, Young Life