Women in rugby challenge the sport stereotypes

26 October 2018 - 07:00 By gcis vuk'uzenzele
Zinhle Ndawonde plays for the Springbok National Women’s team.
Zinhle Ndawonde plays for the Springbok National Women’s team.
Image: Supplied.

Ndawonde recently scooped the Sport Personality of the Year Award at this year’s KwaZulu-Natal Sport Awards held in Durban. 

“Winning this award means a lot. I didn’t expect it because I was competing with the best. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and everyone who supported me,” she said.

When Ndawonde joined the school rugby team at Parkhill Secondary School she had no idea that the sport would change her life.

Ndawonde’s Rugby career began in 2006 when she represented the province at the South African Games.

She went on to join the Jaguars Rugby Club based in Sydnehem. The talent she possesses made the Sharks women’s Senior Team to notice her skill.

“In 2008 I joined the Sharks Women’s Senior Team and the same year I was also selected to represent the country in the Springbok Women’s U20 against the United States in Nelspruit.”

“It meant a lot to me to be part of the final squad because wearing the green and gold jersey is not about the team but also about representing the country which is important to me.” she said.

She adds that even though playing rugby has its own stereotypes and is perceived to be a men’s sport she believe she is making inroads in the game.

“I played the sport because I have a passion for it. I love the sport as it has taught me discipline. If it was not for the sport, maybe I would have fallen to social ills as a teenager. This sport saved me from all of that,” she said.

Ndawonde said one of the highlights in her rugby career was when she scored the winning trial against China while playing for the Springbok 7s. 

-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.


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