Madibaz sevens rugby star Eloise Webb will realise her dream of becoming a fulltime professional in 2019 after being awarded a two-year contract with the South African squad.
The 22-year-old Nelson Mandela University education student said it meant the world to her to become a pro sevens player.
“I really want to play sport for a living while I’m still young enough,” she said. “So this is a huge opportunity for me to do that.
“It was quite a surprise as I always felt there were up-and-coming players who had worked just as hard for a contract and their chances would be better.
“But our coach [Paul Delport] did one-on-ones where he spoke to each and every player about the contracts and what was expected of us.”
Webb, who made her national debut in 2016, was a member of a new-look national squad which introduced six uncapped players at the Emirates Airlines Dubai Sevens.
The SA team ended up with the silver medal after losing to Japan in the final.
“We knew it was going to be tough for us, but we decided that no matter the challenges we faced we would stick together and make sure we played for each other,” she said.
“And it turned out that we made the final, beating the [invitational] Tribe 7s team [22-12] and then overcoming one of three Japanese teams at the tournament in the semifinals [40-5].”