Click here for more information >>>

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Former women’s rugby captain joins USSA NEC

YOUNG LEADER: Lusapho Hlatshaneni YOUNG LEADER: Lusapho Hlatshaneni

A former captain of the CPUT Ladies’ Rugby team has been co-opted to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of University Sport South Africa (USSA).

Lusapho Hlatshaneni grew up in the Eastern Cape and said while her father and uncle played rugby, she never imagined following in their footsteps.

She initially enrolled for the Diploma in Clothing Management and “reluctantly” joined the CPUT women's team in 2017 when she was recruited by former coach, Siyabonga Hani.

“He had seen me running a couple of times when they had practice and thought I would make a good addition to the team.”

Lusapho would soon become captain and one of her highlights was a match they won against UWC in the USSA Rugby 7’s tournament.

“I became captain in 2018 and one and the highlight came when we played in the USSA Rugby 7's tournament, hosted by Wits, and CPUT played UWC in our Plate Final and won. Before that game we had lost every game to UWC. We came third in the overall tournament but our team morale was at its peak.”

She has learnt many lessons from participating in rugby.

“The comradery that comes with playing rugby is unmatched. I’ve learnt to cheer for my team, even if I am on the bench and that every member of the team is important. It helped me build new relationships, taught me endurance on and off the field and most importantly to fight for what is right.”

This included fighting for a level playing field for the women’s team.

“I do not think I would have ended up as a sports administrator had it not been how my journey in rugby started.”

She joined the USSA Student Forum in 2018 when she was asked by the former manager of Sport and Culture, Siyabulela Mkwalo, to represent CPUT.

She gave birth to her son in 2019 and took a gap year whereafter she enrolled for the new qualification in Clothing and Textile Technology.

Upon her return in 2020, she was elected as the student forum national working committee secretary.

“I learnt a lot about the background of sport and the administrative work, especially the advocacy for student athletes. I am honoured to be serving university sport at both national and international level, this is a big deal for both myself and CPUT and I am grateful that CPUT has always given me the support.”

She said she was co-opted into the USSA NEC when two seats had become vacant and needed to be replaced by students.

“The vetting process was long, it started last year in October 2022 and I was one of many students from various member institutions who were nominated.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks