A Pro Rugby Contract And Playing In A Women’s Rugby World Cup Are Springbok Nompumelelo Mathe’s Rugby Ambitions By Cheryl Roberts

24 Apr


Springbok Nompumelelo Mathe wants to get a pro rugby contract and play in a women’s rugby World Cup. She has this earmarked for 2021-2023. Nompumelelo Mathe was introduced to rugby by her elder sister who was playing the game. So when she got her Springbok call-up, Nompumelelo couldn’t wait to share the news with her sister. Together, they celebrated and cried. Nompumelelo Mathe schooled at the famous black heritage school, Ohlange High in Inanda. She wasn’t born when Nelson Mandela cast his first democratic vote at the school in Inanda. Now Inanda in Durban has a famous voter in Nelson Mandela and its first women’s Springbok in Nompumelelo Mathe. In this Q and A interview with ‘South African SportsWoman’, we get to know more about the young woman rugby player that is Nompumelelo Mathe.

Q: How did you get to play rugby?
Nompumelelo Mathe: My elder sister was playing rugby. I got inspired by her and started loving rugby. By the time she stopped playing rugby, I was all grown up and playing rugby as a junior player. Then I took over as being the one in my family playing rugby.
Q: In 2019 you played for SA u20 team and women’s Springboks. Wow! That’s an incredible double achievement. Achieved in one season. How was your excitement about these selections?
Nompumelelo Mathe: I was so excited I even cried. I couldn’t wait to tell my sister – she who I introduced me to rugby – about it. We were not staying together in the same house. I called her immediately. She couldn’t wait to get home. She also cried when I told her about my Springbok selections. We were crying together it was funny though 😂
Q: What do you like about playing rugby?
Nompumelelo Mathe: Uhmm……I learn new things, I get to know new people and it helps me to stay healthy and fit.
Q: What would you like to achieve from rugby over the next three years?
Nompumelelo Mathe: To get pro contracted to play in other countries, so that I will learn new and different things from them and their culture and learn new skills and techniques.
Q: Do you train daily? Tell us more about your training schedule?
Nompumelelo Mathe: During lockdown we are trying to stay with our national schedule. I only train from Monday to Friday…..Monday I do strength training. Tuesday to Thursday I do road runs. Then Friday I do sprints.
Q: Are you studying? Working? Playing sport full-time?
Nompumelelo Mathe: I am studying full-time. At SA Maritime school and transport college in Durban.
Q: You obviously wanna play in a rugby World Cup. You working towards playing in the 2021 rugby World Cup?
Nompumelelo Mathe: Yes, yes I am working on that ambition. Its just that there are things that I can’t do now due to lockdown like quality and solid training on the field to improve my skills. But I want to be there at the 2021 women’s rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Q: Your fav and most admired rugby players?
Nompumelelo Mathe: The players I like are: Sbu Nkosi
Makazoli Mapimpi
Franco Mostert
Eben Etzebeth
Kwagga Smith
Q: Would you like to play pro rugby? Which country?
Nompumelelo Mathe: Yes, I really want to play pro rugby. In New Zealand, the country of the women’s rugby world champions.
Q: How would you like women’s rugby to be improved in SA?
Nompumelelo Mathe: For women’s rugby to have more interprovincial games, and a knockout cup and more international competition. And for women players to get contracts so we can concentrate more on rugby without worrying about our jobs to make money to live.

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