Springbok Women’s Sevens: Paris 2024 Olympic Preparations Begin in Potchefstroom

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17 players join Potchefstroom camp for Olympic preparation.
High-altitude and firm surfaces optimize training conditions.
New environment boosts player morale and motivation.
Only 14 players will travel to Paris Olympics.

A High-Altitude Training Camp with Olympic Aspirations

Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel has invited 17 players to a crucial preparation camp in Potchefstroom as part of their journey to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The camp, which started on Monday, is designed to enhance the team’s readiness through high-altitude training and optimal pitch conditions.

A Diverse and Experienced Squad

The group includes 13 players who recently competed in the HSBC SVNS tournament in Madrid, showcasing a blend of experience and fresh talent. Notable additions are Zandile Masuku, Shona-Leah Weston, Marlize de Bruin, and Shannon-Lee Windvogel, with Windvogel being the only newcomer to the HSBC SVNS circuit.

Selected Squad:

  • Ayanda Malinga
  • Byrhandrè Dolf
  • Kemisetso Baloyi
  • Shannon-Lee Windvogel
  • Libbie Janse van Rensburg
  • Liske Lategan
  • Maria Tshiremba
  • Marlize de Bruin
  • Mathrin Simmers
  • Nadine Roos
  • Shiniqwa Lamprecht
  • Shona-Leah Weston
  • Sizo Solontsi
  • Veroeshka Grain
  • Zandile Masuku
  • Zintle Mpupha
  • Eloise Webb

Strategic Benefits of Potchefstroom

Coach Dazel chose Potchefstroom Sports Village for several strategic reasons, emphasizing the importance of high-altitude training and fast surfaces. “The facilities here are excellent, and training at altitude on firm surfaces will significantly benefit our preparations,” he explained. He highlighted that the fields in Stellenbosch are currently wet, making Potchefstroom’s dry conditions ideal for their training needs.

Breaking the Routine

The decision to train in Potchefstroom also offers a change of scenery, which Dazel believes is essential for maintaining player morale and focus. “We’ve been based in Stellenbosch for an extended period, and a new environment will refresh and motivate the players,” he said. This break from routine is expected to invigorate the squad as they head towards one of the most significant milestones in their careers.

The Road to Paris: Tough Decisions Ahead

Despite the excitement, tough decisions loom, as only 14 players will make the trip to France, with 12 allowed to stay in the Olympic Village. “It’s unfortunate that some players will miss out, but this is part of the journey,” Dazel remarked. The selection process will undoubtedly be competitive, with each player vying for a coveted spot on the Olympic team.

Embracing the Opportunity

For the Springbok Women’s Sevens team, the upcoming camp is more than just preparation; it’s an opportunity to make history. “The players have a wonderful chance to go to the Olympics for the first time ever, and everyone is keen to make the most of it,” Dazel noted. This sense of purpose drives the team as they work towards achieving their Olympic dreams.

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