National junior rugby team forward Roseline Botes, 20, from Scottsdene, says the lockdown has prepared her to return twice as strong for the rugby season.
Botes and her teammate, Felicia Jacobs, have been pacing themselves, four to five days a week, with a training schedule supplied by the national team, at her old high school sports grounds, Scottsdene High School.
She plays for Ravensmead-based Tygerberg Women’s Rugby Club and for the Western Province senior women’s team.
Her rugby journey started in high school. She matriculated in 2018 and made her first appearance for the national team the same year.
She said she absorbed the motivation from her late father who would vocally support her to never quit and carry on playing.
“My rugby started in 2014 when they (Scottsdene High) were looking for girls in school to play rugby so I said to my classmates I’m going to try out rugby. I did not know much about rugby but so the days passed and I learned a lot every day,” she said.
Botes said in 2014 when most of her teammates were selected for the provincial team, she felt happy for them but sad for herself for not making the provincial. From there on, she trained harder.
“I was upset because I was not selected for WP so I said to myself “okay there is a next time that you can improve yourself”, so my school played in a Sevens tournament in Strand and we won. On our way back home we were talking in the taxi about the game and our coach asked if I wanted to play as a prop so I said yes. I tried the position in 2015 and I was selected for the WP training squad,” she said.
Botes said making the provincial team was tough, especially with the elite players the squad carries.
“I went to WP trials and I was selected in 2016, 2017 and in 2018 I played in my first WP senior women’s game as a hooker and also as a flank.
“My first year at senior WP was tough because it’s a different level than the juniors, and so last year I made the under-20 junior women’s SA squad. I also play for Tygerberg women’s team and WP senior women’s team.
Botes said no matter how tough life hits, never give up, always push yourself, and give it a try.
“What do you have to lose? You might as well do it. You can do it. Because it’s all about yourself and never forget the people who push you to do it and always give thanks to God,” said Botes.