#WQC2023 – The Zinhle Ndawonde story

In episode 4 of the 2023 RYOBI #WontQuitCrew, we share the story of South African rugby player Zinhle Ndawonde. Though rugby is a major part of South Africa’s sporting landscape and culture, the women’s game is still in its relative infancy in the professional sense. So to make it here, you have to work incredibly hard on the field, and even harder off of it elsewhere to make a living. It’s a challenging schedule to say the least, but for someone like Zinhle who has dealt with challenges from a young age, all of this is possible and more! 



Like many South Africans, Zinhle didn’t exactly grow up in an environment where excellence was expected. With a single mother having to leave her and her sister to fend for themselves for large periods of time while she earned money to survive, avoiding the distractions and social ills of township life was the only order of the day. But then something unexpected happened, and that was the discovery of her love for the game of rugby.



Her progress in rugby was something that gave her amazing purpose and direction. But despite her on-field excellence and national call ups, she still had to find a career away from the game to make a living. In the same way that rugby unexpectedly joined her life path, so did the opportunity of becoming a fire fighter.



Zinhle’s story is yet another reminder of how life presents a variety of challenges at every turn. And that despite your focused efforts and showing up each and every time to give of your best, your best-laid plans never guarantee success. 


But with a won’t quit attitude, and the belief that your story is one that will always work out in the end, you have the ability to reach your potential in life and inspire others to do the same.


We hope that in future stories like Zinhle’s will not be rare, and that more women are able to find their way in life through structured sport. Making the most of their opportunities in a variety of fields on that back of that. 


Submit your #WontQuitCrew story


Do you have a uniquely ‘Won’t Quit’ story like that of Sean? Or do you know of an athlete who does?


Well then make a submission over at https://wontquitcrew.co.za/nominate/ and your/their story could be a part of this year’s crew and stand a chance to win a main cash prize along with the episode feature on our platform.