Zimbabwe: From Mbare Right Into the 'Wolf Pack'

Ruvarashe Jeremiah is not your average survivor.

A few years ago, she packed her bags and headed out to the United Kingdom where she became the first female rugby player from this country to be signed up by an English club.

A former pupil of Girls High School in Harare, the 21-year-old was snapped up by Wolverhampton women's rugby team in November 2017.

Since then she has never looked back.

And she owes it all to her brother, Taona.

"My brother and role model, Taona, played rugby in high school and that was literally the only thing he spoke about," she said.

"I was getting annoyed with just listening to him sharing his experiences and (one day) I decided to give rugby a go and, to my surprise, I loved it."

Her rugby journey began in 2011 at Girls High School under the guidance of coach, Abraham Rwodzi,

At times, the Lionesses would have fitness sessions conducted by another coach, Lovemore Kuzorera.

Girls High School have turned themselves into the "School of Sporting Excellence" as they also produced two other rugby players, Debbie Mutebuka and Debra Teterai, who are now plying their trade in Poland.

Mutebuka and Teterai are Jeremiah's former teammates at Girls High School where they won a number of accolades. The latter went on to join Mbare Junior Rugby Academy before she left for England.

"In 2015, I joined the Mbare Junior Rugby Academy where I gained confidence under coach Victor Pekani and made friends like Apollo and Gracious who have now become family," she said.

"Through Mbare Academy, I managed to acquire a scholarship at Vainona High School where I did my 'A' Levels.

"I played prop and my coach at the time was Shingirai Zhoya. I am currently playing prop for Wolverhampton ladies team in England.

"I joined the 'Wolf Pack' in November 2017 and the ladies there are supportive, both on and off the pitch."

Women's rugby in England is quite competitive and her club were ranked third last season in the Women's National Challenge 2 in Midlands South.

"The club has recently started weekly fitness sessions in preparation of pre-season and social distancing requirements are being met," she said.

"Sadly, the coronavirus outbreak has affected the season as no specific dates have been given as to when the season will commence."

Her coach is Neil Jones.

"You've got to be fit, fast, strong and smart," Jeremiah said. "At Wolverhampton there's a great skill set, mentally, and the team is pretty composed on the field. The coach, Neil Jones, talks well, communicates really well with the players and you need that as a player."

Jeremiah is also studying medical science at Wolverhampton College and she will graduate this month.

"I'm starting university this coming September and I will be studying midwifery for three years," she said.

"My inspiration comes from the emotional and physical support that I receive from my loved ones."

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