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Springbok centre Zinhle Ndawonde thrilled after winning accolade

Springbok women’s centre Zinhle Ndawonde.
Springbok women’s centre Zinhle Ndawonde.
Image: FACEBOOK/Zinhle Ndawonde

Springbok women’s centre Zinhle Ndawonde is still on cloud nine days after walking away with an accolade at the 2020 gsport awards.

The quick-footed Ndawonde is ecstatic after winning the Style Star award and said the event has given women a platform to earn recognition.

The award recognises vibrant South African women in sport who are synonymous with a leading sense of style and elegance‚ and are an inspiration.

The 30-year-old Ndawonde beat swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker and sports journalist Mbali Sigidi to the award.

"Winning this award means quite a lot to me‚ I feel blessed and I feel overwhelmed‚" she said.

"Obviously to be nominated for this award‚ it means that there are people who actually noticed what you do‚ not only as an athlete but aside from being an athlete."

Ndawonde‚ who also had advice for young sportswomen in South Africa‚ said her accolade was motivation to do more work off the field and encourage young women to work smart in order to reach greater heights.

"I always try to make sure that I reach out to those young girls who live in the disadvantaged backgrounds‚ to actually say 'have a look at where I am‚ because I was once also at that situation.'

"And for them to be in that situation and see us where we are now‚ they think everything was easy and they think it is impossible‚ "she said.

Off the field‚ the former Parkhill Senior Secondary learner works as a firefighter at the King Shaka International Airport in Durban.

"So I always try to motivate and inspire them by posting videos in the social media [Facebook and Twitter] and making sure that they look at what I do‚ see where I've come from‚ where I am going and what I am achieving.

"Because any young girl who leaves in that situation thinks that they can never make it in life. My message to them is that they should never let their circumstances at home determine who they want to be in the future."

The Durban-born athlete said challenges at home should never be allowed to deter their dreams to "become better women and athletes".

"Just like me‚ they should take that situation they have at home and let that situation strengthen them‚ and make them become better women and athletes‚" she said.