From cricket to rugby with Shania-Lee Swart

Ashley Magwindiri

Shania-Lee Swart is a UP athlete who made headlines at a Mpumalanga versus Eastern Gauteng cricket game in 2016, after being the only player who managed to score runs for her team. This incredible feat made her feature in the Guinness Book of World Records. Swart recently tried out rugby, and all her coaches had positive feedback. Speaking to Perdeby, Swart gave some insight on how she juggles all the sports, and still manage to stay on top.


What motivated you to go for rugby?
My mother motivated me, she received a WhatsApp message from coach Riaan with all the information. Coach Riaan made it sound so awesome. So, my mom said, “Go to a practice session and if you don’t like it, then you don’t have to ask yourself in the future what if?” Well, here I am playing rugby and loving every moment. My dad was a great rugby player, he played for Suid Oos, now known as Pumas.


You hold a good cricket record, how have you managed to stay on top of the game?
I think my love and passion for cricket kept me on top and a lot of hard work every week. I have to say the encouragement from all my supporters around the world made me want to do even better.


Your first rugby game was on 19 March 2018, do you plan on continuing with rugby? If yes, what are your goals?
Yes, I do, my goals are to run out on the field one day wearing [...] green and gold representing South Africa, and to always win the TuksRugby matches.


You are also a hockey player, and you are involved in shot put and javelin. Can you share the secret behind being a multi talented athlete?
Self-discipline and hard work. You must believe in yourself and most important[ly], have passion and heart. The above plays a big role in your success to the top.


What is the one simple skill you think that student athletes should become religious about if they want to be multi talented athletes?
You need to have a competitive mindset and give full attention to what other people have to say, especially what coaches have to say about your performance, technique and taking time to understand the points being made.


With all these sports, how have you managed to keep yourself on track?
I stay positive and I focus on my long-term goals. Now I am playing rugby for UP and hockey for Mpumalanga, but my focus now is winning rugby games for UP and obtaining a degree and making my bursary Sappi proud.

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