South Africa: It's Sevens Up and Away for Former Olympic Sprinter Turned Rugby Player


Before 25 March 2019, Olympic sprinter Alyssa Conley had never touched a rugby ball. Then she was approached to join the Springbok Women's Sevens team, a challenge she accepted. Now the 28-year-old has her sights set on going to the Olympics for a second time.

The announcement this year that South African Olympian and sprinter Alyssa Conley would be ditching the track for the rugby field shocked many who had followed her 21-year sprinting career - especially her family.

Conley says even though Springbok Sevens coach Paul Delport approached her in August 2018, after a race, she only made the decision in March this year after finishing a race and realising it had given her no pleasure.

Alyssa Conley wins the women's 200m during day 2 of the ASA Senior Championships at PUK McArthur Stadium on April 22, 2017 in Potchefstroom, South Africa. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images)

"It was actually at a provincial race where I just didn't get that feeling when I was on the track anymore. I told my parents: 'I think this is my last race.' And my mom was like: 'What? You're crazy. It can't be your last race. Just try and go to SAs...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.