Vote For Bee Beast: Rugby Superstar Babalwa Latsha Up For 3 Momentum Gsport Awards
Nicklaus Kruger, 6 August 2020
Babalwa “Bee Beast” Latsha, captain of the Springbok Women’s Rugby team and the first women’s rugby 15s player in South Africa to sign as a professional in Europe is a triple finalist for the prestigious 2020 Momentum gsport Awards.
This year marks the 15th edition of the longest-running women’s sports awards in South Africa, and Africa’s only official national women’s sport Awards, having been endorsed by Sport and Recreation South Africa in 2015. The distinguished list of 60 finalists features athletes and women in sport across all disciplines and tiers.
Latsha, was named in three categories – Momentum Athlete of the Year, Woman of the Year and the brand new Global Woman in Sport category.
So what makes this young superstar so impressive?
Well, there’s the string of achievements the popular prop has to her name, obviously. Two-time Inter-Provincial League winning captain. South Africa Rugby Women’s Top Achiever in 2017. Captain of Springbok Women since 2019. And after becoming the first African women’s rugby player to turn professional upon joining Spain’s Eibar Rugby Taldea in January this year, Latsha went on to score 13 tries in seven games – receiving a renewed contract in the process. Oh, and she captained the Springbok women’s team to qualify for the Rugby World Cup 2021.
Or the way she balanced her rugby career with her studies, bringing textbooks along on tours, managing matches and exams and graduating with a law degree from the University of the Western Cape in 2019, paving the road for a bright future on and off the field.
Or the way she’s championed women’s rugby in SA and around the world, challenging gender stereotypes and focusing on grassroots rugby and empowering women in the sport.
Not bad for someone who only started playing rugby in 2014 – accidentally launching a stellar career.
All of that is well worth celebrating – but what really makes Babalwa Latsha great is her dedication to others.
A Fire To Inspire: Sharing Big Dreams
Born in the Eastern Cape town of Mount Frere and raised in Khayelitsha, Latsha maintains close ties with her community, and often spends time inspiring young people through talks and training sessions in disadvantaged communities.
“Where you are from does not necessarily determine where you are going,” she says. “We are all born with greatness inside of us regardless of where we are born. It is like a fire that burns softly in our hearts. Only when we realize and tap into that greatness does that little fire burn ever so brightly, igniting a fire in the hearts of others, inspiring them to do and be better.”
For Latsha, that inspiration is found in sports.
“I like to think of sports as a calling,” she notes. “No matter where you are, it will find you. When it finds you it ignites that flame. It is that flame that makes the wildest of dreams seem possible to the dreamer. That calling finds you in Khayelitsha, Tsholomqa, Qobo-Qobo, Mount Frere, New Brighton – anywhere! That calling takes all the negativity and turns into fuel to keep that fire burning brightly, so bright that it shines the world over.”
“The most important thing, therefore, is to dream beyond the physical; beyond that one-room shack. Visualise and understand how great you can be. And don’t be afraid to ask for help in that process. Allow your fire to burn!”
Let’s help keep that fire burning.
Celebrate and support Babalwa by voting in the Momentum gsport Awards at gsport.co.za/voting. And remember, voting closes on 10 August 2020. So get those votes in NOW, okay?
Want to know more about Babalwa’s journey, and how she’s become the inspiring woman she is today? We’ve got you covered: Check out the latest issue of the Cape At 6 magazine.