Motherhood Motivates Springbok Celeste Adonis To Play Rugby By Cheryl Roberts

9 Jan

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Celeste Adonis started out playing street rugby in Franschoek, the grape growing town in the Cape Winelands and went to the rugby fields with her rugby playing uncles. It was after turning out for her schools girls rugby team, that Celeste fell in love with rugby. She got involved in junior girls rugby and played much more schools rugby, thereafter. Soon, her rugby talent was being noticed and she got selected for the South African team that played in the u20 women’s rugby world cup in the USA.
After that, it was playing provincial rugby for Boland and Western Province and then came the national call-up to the Springbok squad. Celeste was selected to be a senior Springbok and play in the 2014 women’s rugby world cup in France. After the 2014 WC, SA Rugby went into self-imposed international moratorium mode with women’s rugby international matches being set aside whilst the national body focussed on growing the game and developing skills.
This decision not to play internationals meant that emerging and young women rugby players like Celeste Adonis missed out on international competition at a crucial stage of their rugby development. But Celeste stayed in the game, motivating herself to enjoy club and provincial rugby, although there wasn’t international competition. Two years ago, she found herself preganant. Baby Paige was born in early 2019 and Celeste was soon back on the rugby field, playing provincial rugby for Boland. She got called up to the Springbok team, again and played in the Africa Cup that qualified South Africa’s women’s rugby team for the 2021 World Cup. Celeste also played for SA against the touring teams from Spain and Scotland that played the women Springboks in SA, last October.
As a mother, Celeste is now enjoying her rugby much more; motivated to play for her baby Paige. She loves when baby Paige smiles when she comes off the field and holds her. Celeste Adonis is intent on making future Springbok teams and playing in the 2021 women’s rugby world cup in New Zealand.
I asked Celeste Adonis about her participation in rugby…..

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Q: How did you start playing rugby?
Celeste Adonis: I started playing as a little girl with boy’s street touch rugby… I didn’t have a lot of lady friends to play with… I remember I was still a little girl, then I used to go to the rugby field with my uncle’s where they practice rugby and me running against the touch line….My sport was netball until I joined a women’s rugby team at my high school to play for the school derby one year…. And then I stayed with rugby because I liked it.
Q: When did you first represent South Africa?
Celeste Adonis: I started representing SA when I first played u/20 junior Springboks at the u20 world cup in the USA in 2011.
Q: How was the feeling when you became a Springbok? When was that?
Celeste Adonis: It was the best feeling ever because it was my dream to become a senior Springbok player and play in the world cup. This I achieved in 2014 when I played in the world cup in France.
Q: What kept you going in the game and motivated you to play when SA wasn’t playing international matches?
Celeste Adonis: My coaches, my family and my personal ambitions. I always set myself a goal and one of those goals was to play in a world cup again.
Q:Did you consider retiring from rugby after knowing you were going to have a baby and be a mother?
Celeste Adonis:Yes I did consider retiring and then I realised I’m not ready to retire yet; so I was back at rugby soon after the birth of my child.
Q: How soon did you get back to training after giving birth?
Celeste Adonis: I was pregnant, then I stopped training at 8 months pregnant. I did lots of cardio workouts and treadmill running. I started training again after a c-section birth procedure and after giving birth two months later.
Q: How does it feel to be a mother of a baby and playing international rugby?
Celeste Adonis: I’m a proud mother of my daugher Paige. A lot of people didn’t think I’ll be back on the rugby field. But I got back and played again for South Africa. And I’m feeling good. Playing now for my baby girl.
Q: Tell us about your training programme? Has it changed/altered since having a baby?
Celeste Adonis: In the beginning it was a bit difficult but with the help of my beloved mother, whom I rely on a lot for support and help and Paige’s father playing parental duty, everything went well. It’s tough working full-time, being a mother and being an elite athlete.
I train in my lunch time and after work as I must put in the hours to be a quality spotswoman.
Q: What would you still like to achieve from playing rugby?
Celeste Adonis: To represent SA in the world cup 2021 that’s my dream and my goal…..
Q: Are you hoping to play in the 2021 rugby World Cup?
Celeste Adonis: Yes I do and with God on my side🏻

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