EP U19 captain, Jeremy Ward, must be smiling from ear to ear with his team’s stellar performances in the Absa Currie Cup. Nine wins in a row! We caught up with the talented centre.
You have been playing rugby at Grey in PE from an early age – what has rugby taught you and how has the game enriched your life?
Rugby has been a big part of my life since I was a young boy, and being at a school like Grey through my years I have had a rugby culture instilled in me. Rugby has taught me some valuable life lessons, the sport has taught me to never put anybody down, to not ever underestimate anyone, to always show respect and give respect and most importantly (as cliché as it may be), rugby has taught me to never give up.
What do you enjoy most about captaining a rugby side?
For me, being a team captain is more than just wearing the armband and cheering your team on. It entails the desire to lead by example; a desire to build relationships with team members, in good times and bad; the ability to handle conflict and make decisions under pressure and the ability to inspire, motivate and raise team morale. That is where I get the most enjoyment out of captaining a rugby team.
Who has been your mentor during your rugby career and what has this meant to you?
I have had a few mentors during my rugby career. In my days at school, Mr Tim Fraser and Mr Andrew Hayidakis were influential and now, during my time at the EP Kings Academy, Mzwandile Stick and Robbi Kempston continue to be very influential figures. All these coaches have taught me invaluable amounts about rugby, but they have taught me even more about myself, about leadership and about life.
The Kings U/19 team is on a winning streak in the Currie Cup – which game have you enjoyed the most and why?
Every game in the competition thus far has had its highs, but the game I have enjoyed the most is definitely the game on Ellis Park against the Lions. The Lions posed a very tough threat, but everything seemed to work in our favour during the game and everything that we had worked so hard towards seemed to pan out on the field. It was, especially as the team captain, a joy to see the team pull together5. Your goals for the rest of the season in terms of the team?
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 year’s time, both on and off the field.
Off the field, I see myself with a degree behind my name. On the field in five years’ time I see myself on a rugby field, with a number on my back and a badge on my heart. It may be unclear right now who I may be representing, but I see myself having the time of my life doing what I love.