Brown a mother on and off the field

Jun 23 • General News, International • 1794 Views • Comments Off on Brown a mother on and off the field

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Fondly known as “Ouma” (grandmother in English) or McGyver, Springbok Women’s centre Lorinda Brown plays the role of a mother on and off the field in the women’s national team.

With a two-year old son named Chintley, it is no surprise that the 30-year old Brown also assumes the role of team mother in the Springbok Women’s side.

The fact that Brown has been playing women’s rugby since its inception in South Africa in 2004 , which included appearances in the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup in London and two Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments in 2009 and 2013 respectively, also contributes to the respect she has earned within the team.

Had it not been for the misfortune of breaking her nose in a warm-up match ahead of the 2006 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Canada, Brown would have been among the special group of players featuring in their third Women’s Rugby World Cup in France in August.

As a mother and a senior player, Brown enjoys the maternal role she plays within the team on and off the field.

“The nickname doesn’t bother me, in fact it makes me feel good,” says Brown. “The players view me as a mother figure because I care deeply about each one of them and I am always there to listen to their problems or concerns. So I suppose for them it is like having a mother around.”

Her ability to derive plans, meanwhile, has earned her a second nickname, McGyver, but she believes this skill comes naturally with being a senior player.

“Coach Renfred Dazel (Springbok Women’s assistant coach) gave me that name because he says I always have a plan,” Brown says with a chuckle. “And he is right, I always think of something when we face a challenge as a team. As senior players we have a responsibility to guide the young players and that is what we try to do.”

Brown’s love for rugby is the result of a challenge she accepted at school when one of the teachers challenged her class to participate in a rugby training session.

However, she took a liking to the sport several years earlier as her father played club rugby for Progress and Excelsior rugby clubs in Port Elizabeth.

“I developed a strong passion for rugby the day I participated in my first training session and I have never looked back,” she said. “I remember wearing my father’s rugby jersey to training with immense pride, so it was a special feeling when I received my first jersey. Up until today every time I take to the field adrenalin pumps through my veins and I am in a complete state of euphoria.”

Fortunately for Brown she has a supportive fiancé Sidney, who allows her to live her dream. This despite having to make massive sacrifices as a contracted Springbok Women’s Sevens player by staying in a bed and breakfast in Port Elizabeth as part of the women’s high performance programme during the Sevens rugby season. This support, she believes, contributes significantly to her success on the field.

“Sidney and my family have been amazing throughout my career,” she says with a broad smile. “I am away from home for weeks at time, but they always encourage me to do my best and express how proud they are of me. So although I do miss home sometimes, this makes it easier. Sidney also gives me tips about my game, which is fantastic.”

Brown will travel with the Springbok Women’s squad to London on Wednesday on their World Cup warm-up tour, which includes two matches against the Nomads in London and a Test against France in Marcoussis, outside Paris.

The will assemble again in Cape Town on July 14 for their World Cup holding camp, with the team set to depart for the international showpiece on July 27.

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