Rugby

Lockdown life a big adjustment for SA Rugby ref Jadezweni

Lockdown life a big adjustment for SA Rugby ref Jadezweni - Sports Leo

Lockdown life has indeed been a big adjustment for SA Rugby referee Cwengile Jadezweni, who has grown his hair and now trains with bricks in between his weekly online refereeing conferences.

In stark contrast to the meticulous week-to-week planning and preparation for matches, Jadezweni and his colleagues have spent most of their time on video conferences, but he says it has been invaluable as he looks to continue growing in his career.

“Lockdown has been a big adjustment because life is very different when you live from one game to the next – first and foremost I had to develop a new routine,” said Jadezweni.

“The time at home, however, has given us as referees the opportunity to think more about the game of rugby itself and sharpen up on the art of refereeing.

“We have learned a lot from one another and experts inside and outside of rugby, which is great.
“We generally have a few conference calls a week, and experienced referees such as Jaco Peyper, Marius van der Westhuizen and Rasta Rasivhenge have made a number of presentations, which has really been beneficial.

“Jaco has held the whistle in over 50 Tests and 111 Vodacom Super Rugby matches, and to have the opportunity to hear about his experiences and ask him questions has certainly given us insight into the pressures on and off the field if you want to make it to the highest level.

“We have also had to make presentations to the likes of Marius, Jaco and Mark Lawrence (former International referee and SA Rugby Referee Performance Manager), and I have learned a lot from that too because it places you in the spotlight, and if you make a mistake, you almost feel exposed. But it has really been valuable in my personal development as a referee.”

Jadezweni was pleased with the quality of his training in the last few weeks despite being confined to his home for most of the day and said: “We have a demanding training programme and our conditioning coach checks up on us regularly, so we are doing everything we can to ensure that when we return to the field we will be ready and that we can keep up.

“I had to work my running into an area of about 30m before the restrictions were lifted to allow training outdoors between 06h00 and 09h00 in the morning, and I must admit being able to get out has been refreshing from a training and mental perspective.

“Obviously weight training is a bit of a challenge at home, so I have been throwing bricks around to work in some strength training.”

Looking ahead at life after lockdown, Jadezweni said his first stop will be a visit to the barber.
“I usually go to the salon two or three times a week, so since lockdown started I have been growing my hair,” said Jadezweni.

“The last time I grew my hair was in 2007. But the interesting part is that I discovered I have a bald patch. So the first thing I plan to do when the lockdown restrictions are lifted is to go the barber for a haircut.”

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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