Family is everything to Lions player

2017-10-27 06:00
Next to his new BMW, James Venter. PHOTO: omega moagi

Next to his new BMW, James Venter. PHOTO: omega moagi

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SOUTH Coast-born Lions rugby player James Venter was home last weekend and spoilt himself to a BMW.

James lives in Johannesburg, but is originally from Umtentweni where his family still live and although his rugby career is at its peak, for him family is everything, he says.

Attesting to this is his sister Rachel, who said he has been kicking around a rugby ball from the time he learnt how to walk.

Rachel said, as a big brother, he loved “teasing and bullying” and did not compromise on the right boyfriend befitting of his sister’s worth.

“He’s very overprotective, and whoever wants to date me will be harshly judged by him. They have to be perfect, and they must play rugby,” she said.

She said her brother is also loving and humble.

“When he comes home he visits all his friends and even though people recognise him on the street, he does not let that get to his head.

“He treats everyone with the same respect regardless of who they are or where they come from,” said Rachel.

Adjusting to the big city life has been smooth for James thanks to girlfriend of a-year-and-a-half, Megan Jonker from Pretoria.

“At first it was hard for him, but as he got to meet new people, he started adapting and now he actually enjoys the big city life,” said Jonker, who also described him as a romantic.

“People think rugby players are these hard-core monsters, they’re not, they’re all just big teddy bears,” she said.

The U19 Currie Cup Player of the Year’s career began at Izotsha Primary where he was first team rugby captain in Grade 7.

Since then he has been vice-captain for several Port Shepstone High School teams. He also played for the Sharks and the Lions U19 and U21 where he currently is. “Being able to live your dream is a feeling I can’t describe,” said James.

James says he never stops challenging himself to greater lengths, a lesson he says that was bestowed on him by his parents.

“My dad taught me to always stay committed and never give up. Those teachings and my Christian faith have been my secret recipe to success. To everyone else still working on their dream, keep working hard and don’t get discouraged. As motivation, just look at where you come from compared to where you are now,” he said.


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