Rugby scholarship holder Ms Lindelwa Gwala’s interest in the sport began while she was in Grade 9 at Umlazi Comtech, Durban.
With the encouragement of teachers and school friends she joined a women’s club rugby team and before long had been selected for the KwaZulu-Natal U16 team.
Gwala soon realised that rugby was her game and represented the U16 side for three consecutive years during which time she was called up for a South African Rugby Union (SARU) high performance camp.
She went on to play for the KZN U18 team and also made the SARU U20 squad.
‘Being part of the KZN team was a great experience and gave me a lot of opportunities,’ she said.
‘Who would have thought that playing rugby would assist me in securing a prestigious UKZN Sport Scholarship,’ said Gwala, who is currently doing her Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Computer Science.
She received the rugby scholarship for her outstanding achievements playing for the Sharks U18 side.
Gwala was constantly questioned by family and friends about why she wanted to play rugby. Her answer was: ‘I play rugby because it helps pay my fees. Most of all it makes me happy to know that my parents are not having sleepless nights over finding funds.
‘Currently, I am in the KZN senior team and though the competition is much tougher there, if there is anyone that knows hard work goes a long way it’s me.’
Her coach, Yandisa Mdolomba said: ‘Lindelwa is committed in everything she does. Her determination on the field is evident.
‘Her transition to university life has been challenging but she knows that hard work and perseverance are winners. She’s a very down to earth and friendly person. Being awarded the UKZN Sport’s scholarship is a testament to her hard work and dedication.’