The first woman to be appointed in the Free State Rugby Union Executive Board, Pearl Lebusho, is set to make women’s rugby more ‘fashionable’. Lebusho has a passion for the game that began in her teens and today wants to ignite the same fire in young women all over the province.
As the Chairperson of the Free State Women’s Rugby Association, she is determined to put the female Cheetahs on the map. However, the union faces the challenge of recruiting young women in order to build a competitive senior team.
“Generally there still exists a perception that women cannot play rugby. To feed our senior teams we need to introduce rugby at schools but we face resistance, often from principals who prefer their girl learners to take part in netball or hockey instead,” explained Lebusho.
After her recent appointment, Lebusho is tasked with taking the female Cheetahs back to the A-Section and strengthening their current club teams.”We want to resuscitate the sport by encouraging women to see rugby as a sport that anyone can play. I want to make rugby fashionable. We want to remove any stereotypes attached to women who play rugby because it’s just a sport,” she said.
The local businesswoman, wife and mother of three is a true example of a woman achieving success in all spheres of life. Lebusho hopes that more women will also be persistent in reaching their dreams, even those that involve throwing a ball.
“Often as women, when we get married we prioritise our families while forgetting our dreams. Women should live their dreams because when God created each of us He created each one of us with a purpose,” she expressed.
The association is looking for women of various ages who want to be part of the game, whether as players or coaches. If you are interested in joining, contact Lerato Manjiya on 051-407-1779.