Who said rugby is a men’s game in Namibia? Nessckeenett Jansen is one of the few sportswomen to play this sport, which requires lots of physical strength and stamina.
Born 25 years ago in Walvis Bay, the former De Duine Secondary School pupil fell in love with rugby in 2009. Now, her next step is to fulfil her dream of becoming a successful rugby player in the near future.
Jansen currently plays for Walvis Bay’s Kudu Bokkies. Growing up, she took part in a variety of sport codes, such as athletics and field hockey. She became so involved in these sports that she never imagine she would one day fall for a different, more physical sport.
Having established herself as one of the top female rugby players, it is no wonder her club-mates have since chosen her as their captain.
“Although rugby is a contact sport, people think women cannot handle it but I love it. I’m currently a left winger for Kudu Park (House of Pain) in Narraville. It has the best support system in Namibia. I became the captain last year. Although we finished third in this year’s league, my teammates still believe in my ability to lead them into future success. We hope to do better next year. My parents’ support for me has also made things so much easier,” says Jansen.
The single mother dreams of becoming a professional rugby player in New Zealand, some day, as that’s every rugby player’s dream, she says.
“That I am a single mother and a rugby player does not affect either of my responsibilities. I train twice a day and allocate the rest of the day’s hours after that to motherhood.”
After scoring two tries in a 31-10 demolishing win against a visiting Botswana side at the Dr Hage Geingob rugby stadium in October this year, Jansen believes Namibian women’s rugby will never be the same again.
“It was a great motivation for future international games. I wouldn’t mind playing such games every day.”
Jansen’s current all-time rugby favourite is South African perfectionist left-wing, Landi Lubbe, who plays for the Natal Sharks.
According to her, Lubbe possesses great techniques and always keeps his cool on the pitch, a strategy most rugby players fail to hold onto, yet it is vital for such a physical sport.
“I can’t just stop watching him play.”
Although she laments women’s rugby still has a long way before recognition versus the men’s, she reveals; “The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) does not support women’s rugby as it should and that’s unfair. However, that will not stop us from placing Namibian female rugby on the world map.”