Babalwa Latsha needs very little introducing … The Springbok women’s captain is one of the most well-known faces of the game and is taking the team and the sport to new heights.
She is certainly trailblazer when it comes to rugby as Latsha play’s both 15’s rugby as well as the Sevens game.
She described herself in short video on SA Rugby’s Youtube page as a ‘quiet, chubby kid who loved to play outside’. Somewhat adventurous but still very reserved’, she went on to say.
Khayelitsha-born Latsha feels she has changed since then and that ‘rugby opened up her mind and her heart to to the world’.
‘I’ve changed into a more proud, outspoken Babalwa …’Springbok Women’s Captain Babalwa Latsha
And it is this that has put her on the path to the leader that she is today.
The prop has grown in stature in many ways from starting out her career as a young rugby player as she became the first African women’s player to sign a professional rugby contract when she joined SD Eibar Femenino, in Spain.
“Being the first African female professional rugby player is a massive achievement not only for me as an individual, but for the game of women’s rugby itself in South Africa and in Africa,” she said in an interview on the Vuk’uzenzele government website back in April 2020.
She currently players for English side Harlequins and has renewed her contract. Since joining in February of this year, she made eight appearances and scored four tries in four consecutive matches. A story that gsport carried when the news was announced
And off the field Latsha is also living up to be being the leader she wants to be and inspire others to be. She is part of various organisations, currently she is the Director Menstruation Foundation who assist with making pads and period products available to in a bid to end period poverty. Also worth mentioning that Proteas Women wicketkeeper Sinalo Jaffa is also part of the team.
Latsha is also a Beast Foundation ambassador (a brainchild of Springbok legend Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira. They look to assist young people in forging their future by giving them access to sports training, skills development and education opportunities.
And to add to her already long CV Latsha is also a Laureus Sport ambassador but wait … that’s not all!
It doesn’t end there, Latsha also managed to complete a Law degree.
Doing community work is really close to my heart, you know, because I come from these communities and it’s really important to me to give back,” she in an interview on the World Rugby site.
“I think that so much can be done, and rugby is a perfect tool to relay those messages and to pass on the good work that I do and that perhaps others do as well.”Springbok Women’s Captain Babalwa Latsha
When we think of leadership or speak about it we always talk about how important it is to have someone who can inspire and it’s not hard to see that Latsha is working hard on not only improving as a player but also giving back. It’s the hallmark of her career and personality as well as breaking gender stereotypes. Paving the way for more girls and women to play rugby.
“I’m living evidence that nothing is impossible and that your surroundings should not limit the size of your dreams,” said Latsha in a previous story on gsport in 2020.
“Rugby has given me a voice, the courage to question certain norms and allowed me to impact the lives of young boys and girls positively.
“I have also honed leadership skills and learned perseverance, dedication and diligence.
“More importantly I have learned to be selfless in everything that I do, putting aside personal gain and focusing on the betterment of others through rugby.”
And to me these quotes sums up just who she is in character on and off the field. It’s also a rather rousing quotes from someone who is in a position to lead many on and off the field.
South Africa recently, participated in the WXV2 tournament along with the USA, Italy, Scotland, Japan and Samoa playing in a cross-pool format.
Latsha’s team ended the tournament with a win when they beat Samoa 33-7, having played to a 17all draw earlier in the competition.
The win also saw the Bok women keep their 13th place ranking.
Main Photo Caption: Babalwa Latsha (far left) trains with her Springbok Women’s teammates. Photo: Women Boks on X
Photo 2 Caption: Babalwa Latsha (left) smiles for a picture. Photo: Harlequins Women on X