University of Johannesburg sevens rugby star Voice Ndou made her debut for the Blitzboks last year and is now motivated to nail down a permanent spot in the team.
The 19-year-old BA student turned out for the national team at the HSBC Dubai sevens tournament in December and said it had whetted her appetite for the future.
“I was called up to a national camp in May but only got a chance to play later in the year,” said Ndou, who was christened Vhugala but is better known by her second name of Voice.
“It was a great experience and I would love to become a permanent or contracted player.”
She added that her biggest lesson was realising that hard work always paid off.
“I discovered it did not matter where you came from or what your background was,” she said. “That does not determine your future because, with dedication, you can achieve your dreams.”
Looking ahead, she said she would be working on the physical side of her game to help her cope with the demanding nature of international competition.
As she goes through the final year of her degree, Ndou acknowledged the opportunities she had received during her time at UJ.
“Earning my national colours and playing against international opposition have been the highlights of my career so far,” she said.
“But this would not have been possible without the support and guidance I have received at UJ.”
She paid tribute to UJ sevens coach Mbuyiselo Siqebengu, sevens manager Tumelo Leseke and sports scientist Liphiwe Nxasana for the impact they had had on her career.