Social Sciences psychology student Matlotlo Goitseone Kgopisho says she thrives on activities that challenge her physically and mentally, which is why she chose boxing and rugby.
Originally from the small village of Uitkyk a few kilometres from Mahikeng, Matlotlo says her love of sport was sparked by her father who is a wheelchair basketball coach. As a first-year student in 2017, Matlotlo took up both sporting codes and has never looked back.
“I was part of the 7s rugby team that represented the NWU at the USSA tournament held in Port Elizabeth. I was also part of the team that won second place in the Leopard league,” says Matlotlo.
In boxing she secured a silver medal at the USSA tournament held at Mangosuthu University of Technology in 2017 and received an award for best female newcomer.
Blow by blow the best
In 2018, Matlotlo secured a gold medal at the Boxing USSA tournament which the NWU hosted. The following year, she received awards for best female bout and best female player, was selected for the North West provincial boxing team, and earned a gold medal at the USSA tournament in Secunda.
Matlotlo wanted to play professional rugby or boxing one day, but her hopes were shattered when she sustained a knee injury in 2018 during a Leopard league rugby game.
“I believe if it wasn't for my injury, I could have done a lot better in both these sporting codes,” says the athlete who continues to represent the NWU in both sports.
She says sport has had great health benefits for her. “Not only does it contribute to my psychological, physical and emotional development, it also helps me to be disciplined.”
Matlotlo (in red) exchanges blows with an opponent during a boxing tournament held at the NWU.
Rugby and boxing are tough, high-impact contact sports and it takes a rare kind of sportswoman to engage in not just one but both of them.
Ready for action … Matlotlo loves high-impact contact sports such as rugby.