‘Babs’ to fly flag high in the U.S

2018-07-19 06:00
Babalwa Latsha (right) with her coach from the UWC rugby club LD Mzozoyana at the capping ceremony before she departed for the Sevens World Cup in San Franciso.

Babalwa Latsha (right) with her coach from the UWC rugby club LD Mzozoyana at the capping ceremony before she departed for the Sevens World Cup in San Franciso.

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After only playing rugby for four years, Babalwa Latsha, from Khayelitsha, will be flying the South African flag as a Lady Blitsbok at the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco from Friday to Sunday.

“My selection as a Lady Blitsbok was overwhelming and it may sound cliched but it really is an honour to represent my country on the big stage. To say that I am excited playing against the best in the world, is putting it mildly,” she says.

She plays both codes – 15’s and 7’s – for the University of the Western Cape and plays prop.

“Being a novice in rugby, I am looking forward to gain experience and contribute effectively to the national team while I am in the States,” Babalwa said.

Her dad, Luvuyo, is her inspiration, she says.

“He encourages me to give 100% in everything I do, whether it is sport or with my studies. I am a final year law student at UWC and sometimes it is not easy to juggle sport and studies,” she says.

She admires Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira, not only because they play in the same position, but, to her, he embodies agility and what a prop should do. “Figuratively speaking, he embodies the springbok that you would find in the Kruger National Park that is frolicking in the open field,” she chuckled.

She played soccer for Gold Hunters F.C in Khayelitsha before she joined the UWC rugby club.

“Although I am studying and playing rugby, the studying comes first. I could not miss this opportunity to play for the country and will make the best of the three days. We play our first match on Friday evening (SA time) against Russia, one of the favourites to win the tournament,” she said.

She enjoys reading to take a break from rugby and study.

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