Springbok Women's rugby vice-captain Zinhle Ndawonde believes the oval-ball game saved her life.
Ndawonde, who is a firefighter at the KwaZulu-Natal airport and dual Springbok in 15s and 7s, is our guest on this week’s episode of The IOL Sports Show.
The 31-year-old hails from Inanda township and has since overcome major obstacles to reach the pinnacle of the game.
“I grew up in Inanda township and there was so much stuff going on. Teenage pregnancies, gangs, drugs, alcohol. I didn’t want to be involved in any of that, I wanted something else for myself," Ndawonde said.
"But I knew that if I didn’t distract and distance myself, I might as well just accept that as my future. I used my passion, my rugby, to find my way out."
Local women's interprovincial rugby re-started last week after the Covid-19 break. Ndawonde believes its the perfect preparation for next year's Women's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
"It's so exciting to be back on the field. The fact that its being live streamed on SuperSport is also great. Now young girls can watch and say 'I want to be like Zinhle Ndawonde. Look where she is. I grew up next to her. I can be like her.'
"We going to New Zealand to to play rugby, to show the world what the Springboks Women are all about.“