South Africa: Zenay Jordaan

South Africa’s most-capped player continues her coaching development at the Gallagher High Performance Academy.

Zenay Jordaan aims to follow a glittering playing career with coaching success.

When Zenay Jordaan retired from playing after the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, in 2022, she was her country’s most-capped player, had represented her country in six global tournaments and been named Springbok Player of the Year in 2013.

There was little more for Jordaan to achieve as a player, but she had plenty to learn and accomplish in her new role as assistant coach of Eastern Province Queens. She sees her participation in the Gallagher High Performance Academy as an important part of that process.

“Ahead of the programme, I wanted to learn as much as possible about becoming a high performance coach, and to grow into a well-shaped coach that can ultimately help and give back to other coaches,” Jordaan told World Rugby.

Jordaan’s passion for rugby came from her father, Wilfred, who would wake her early at their home on the Eastern Cape to watch matches on television.

She trained to become a firefighter but gave up that career when South Africa offered her one of the country’s first women’s professional contracts. It was a decision she’s never regretted.

“I realised when I started coaching for the first time how much I truly enjoyed sharing my knowledge and learning from other coaches,” said Jordaan.

“I enjoy being part of something so special, that I have played my entire life, and being granted the opportunity to help other players become better. I enjoy giving back.”

During her time in the Gallagher High Performance Academy, Jordaan learnt about the importance of culture, how to communicate effectively and how to build healthy relationships.

“The programme has changed my perspective about what it takes to be, or become, a high performance coach,” she added.

“The Academy provided real insight, equipping me with both knowledge on ways of coaching, and the skills to help perform those duties.”

Last updated: Mar 28, 2024, 2:16:42 PM