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Sport
Rugby is his all...

When he talks about rugby it is easy to see and hear that it is way more than just a sport to Cornel Smit… It’s his life’s passion.

Ever since he can remember Smit has wanted to play rugby. “The moment my hands were big enough and I could hold one, there probably was a rugby ball in my hands!” he says.

“I can’t really remember the first time I picked one up, but I’m pretty sure my dad would have made sure I got one. Since I can remember I have been playing with rugby balls. My dad played a big role in that.

“Rugby has always been my first love… always my favourite sport by far. Watching and playing it. I did play some cricket as a youngster, but I was really passionate about rugby. From an early age I channelled most of my energy into the sport. I’ve wanted to be a professional rugby player from forever!”

Smit played for Bishops, WP Craven Week, SA Schools, Western Province under-19 and under-21 before making his WP senior debut earlier this year in the SuperSport Challenge. He will again play for WP under-21 in the national tournament this year, to defend the title he and his teammates won in 2017.

“For now my goal is to enjoy my rugby as much as I can,” Smit says. “I want to give it my all every chance I get. I don’t want any regrets.”

He is part of the new generation of rugby players that study full-time along with playing professionally. He is currently studying BComm Management Sciences (Entrepreneurship & Innovation) at Stellenbosch University.

He made his Varsity Cup debut for Maties during their winning campaign this year. He played his first game for the maroon machine against UJ in the opening game of the tournament.

For Smit the best part of playing rugby is “having the dream and getting the opportunity actually to live it…”

He adds: “The feeling you get when hard work and training come together on the playing field is pretty special. Making my family and friends proud is also really important for me.”

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