Shining star with oval ball emerges from the capital city

Shining star with oval ball emerges from the capital city

By Andile & Mandla Dladla

Shiniqwa Lamprecht is living her dream as a rising star in women rugby. Yet few people are aware about the route she had to take nor the sacrifices she made in order to reach the top.

It has taken a lot of sacrifices, insurmountable obstacles and challenges that would have broken down a less stronger person. But Lamprecht was driven by a dream to reach the heights never experienced before.

“My dream of playing rugby started when I was still very young playing with my nephews but unfortunately the area where I grew up there there was no rugby,” recalls Lamprecht.

After struggling to find a team that played women’s rugby for as long as she can remember around Eldoraigne in the South East of Pretoria, she eventually found herself teaming up with Harlequins Club during 2019 in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s not like putting my body through pain but more about the love I have for the sport,” says Lamprecht whose career as a hooker took off as she found herself in love with the contact sport.

“Once I get on the field it’s the most unreal feeling in the world and being sixteen then made it even more interesting for me.”

The same year during 2019 she played in her first tournament and like they often say that you cannot keep a good man down, just as you cannot keep a good woman down, her talent shone through and she got selected for the Blue Bulls U-16 securing her first colours.

“That’s when I realized that I had the talent and with the potential I had been blessed with, I could go far because it had always been my dream to represent my country one day and play for the Springboks.”

The road had been rocky, full of countless challenges but her dazzling form carried her through until she graduated to the Bulls U-18 last year but through sheer hard work and her dedication, she has been able to break into the first team at the beginning of the current season.

“While this has been a year of my greatest accomplishment, the same cannot be said about the year 2020 which was made worse by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in no action throughout the year.

“However, I knew what my goal were and that motivated me to get up every day and train.

“In 2021 I tore my Achilles tendon which gave me a lot of problems. I had to heavily strap my ankle because it was weak which set me back for about two months. I had to strengthen it but it is healed now.

“It requires mental strength to succeed in any sport and if one is not mentally prepared for failure or success then you won’t be able to go through it.

“The fear of failure was one of my biggest struggles because every time I failed it set me back. So, I changed my mindset to adapt in a way that I don’t have to stress about failure because that’s the thing that made me better at the end of the day.”

When Shiniqwa is not on the field of rugby then she is usually at work as she juggles playing the game and working for a surveillance company. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

“I have given myself a break of a year or two to try and achieve my dreams of playing for the national team but due to the lack of funding for women’s rugby, it doesn’t make it easy for clubs to get their players at training and match days.

“It’s easier for the men to get seen and not so easy for us because some girls have to travel for over 20-km to play for a team so such logistics make it difficult for one to be seen by the scouts but I am going to make sure I play for the national team one day.

“Watching a lot of rugby for me is good and I do watch and support the Springbok Women’s team. It is important for us as women to showcase our talent and what we bring to the table. We know what we bring to the table because just like the men we play the same game.”

But with the recent focus on women’s football, netball and rugby the future is certainly bright because there are a lot of young talent coming through and if fairness is applied and not favouritism, then everything will be right in South Africa.

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