Twins Chuma and Chumisa Qawe have been called up to the Springbok squad.
Twins Chuma and Chumisa Qawe have been called up to the Springbok squad.

The Qawe twins, 19, get called up to the Springbok women’s rugby team

By Cheryl Roberts Time of article published Sep 29, 2019

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At the age of 19, the Qawe twins, Chuma and Chumisa, are among the youngest players recently called up to the Springbok women’s rugby team.

They emerged in the sport through girls’ rugby on the Border, and made the Border senior women’s team. This year, they were selected for the national U-20 team that played against Zimbabwe.

And now they have made the national senior side for the home showdown with Spain.

I did a Q and A with the sisters to find out about their talent for rugby and love for the game.

Did you expect to get a Springbok call-up this year? What was your reaction when told of your selection?

Chuma: No, I didn’t expect to get a call from the Springbok coach. So I was happy and nervous at the same time.

Chumisa: No, I really didn’t expect to get a Springbok call-up. When I did, I was too excited to join the Springbok camp.

How did you start playing?

Chuma: I started playing rugby in 2007 in primary school, playing with boys.

Chumisa: My twin sister was called up for the Border trials for girls. Then my twin suggested I should go and try my luck. That’s how my rugby journey started.

What do you enjoy about playing rugby?

Chuma: It activates my thinking skills and keeps me busy and away from troubles. For example, I don’t have time for drugs, alcohol and other stuff... And, more importantly, it enables me to meet people and interact with them.

Chumisa: I love it because I always meet new people; it’s a great thing to make new friends - and to learn more skills for my position.

Which international women rugby players do you admire?

Chuma: I admire Zintle Mpupha (Springbok Women’s Sevens captain who also played for the Border cricket team).

I grew up wanting to be like her and to do what she does. Like her, I used to play cricket, and would ask myself how she (Mpupha) managed to play rugby and cricket at the same time.

Chumisa: I admire the world’s best player, and that’s Portia Woodman from New Zealand.

Was your family involved in rugby?

Chuma: Yes. Some of them.

Chumisa: Yes, my brother and my cousins.

Where were you born? Where did you go to school?

Chuma: I was born in the Eastern Cape. I attended Debe Valley Primary School and Siseko High School.

Chumisa: In the Eastern Cape. I was at Debe Valley Primary School and Siseko High School.

What else do you do besides playing rugby?

Chuma: I used to play cricket but now I only play rugby.

Chumisa: I used to play netball but now I no longer take part in it.

Are you studying this year? Where? What are you studying?

Chuma: Yes. I am studying human resources at Lovedale College.

Chumisa: Yes. I’m studying human movement science at the University of Fort Hare.

Do you support each other in rugby?

Chuma: Yes, I do support her.

Chumisa: Yes, very much. We talk about our games - like what we did wrong and how we can improve.

What would you like to achieve from playing rugby?

Chuma: Ummh... well, to be well known all over the world as the best and the most respected players, and to inspire young kids.

Chumisa: To be given opportunities to see how well I can play rugby.

* Cheryl Roberts is a Cape Town-based sport activist.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus

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