MyPlayers chats to Springbok Women’s veteran Marithy Pienaar about her preparations for life after rugby in the world of finance.
What are you doing as a professional player to prepare for life after rugby?
I’m currently doing hospitality and accounting courses at Oxbridge Academy. I’m making the time to study so I have something behind my name once I retire. With a bit of time management, it’s possible to balance rugby and studies. I’m also job shadowing at Bernard Shaw Auditors, which is an auditing firm in Stellenbosch. The experience in the workplace has been great so far as it gives me insight into what I can expect in the corporate field.
How did these opportunities come your way?
Jonéll Bester, who is the career development manager at MyPlayers, helped a lot. MyPlayers has a great partnership with Oxbridge Academy and other institutions, who offer discounted courses to all members. I was able to pick two courses related to the industry I want to work in one day. The courses accommodate my busy rugby schedule too. Jonéll also set me up with interviews at two companies in Stellenbosch, one of them being Bernard Shaw Auditors.
How do you cope with the balance between studies and rugby?
No player can train 24 hours a day. You need to make the most of your off-time. I dedicate a certain amount of hours a week to my study courses and assignments. I’d also encourage all players to get as much practical working experience when they can. This gives you an idea of what career path will be perfect for you after retirement.
When is the right time to prepare for life after rugby?
As a rugby player, there are many unknowns. You never know when a serious injury will bring your career to an end. So I’d advise all players to start preparing for life after rugby as early as possible. Qualifications, business networks and working experience gives you something to fall back on when needed. The practical experience I’ve picked up so far has been very valuable.
What do you hope to achieve during your second career?
I see myself working in the finance department for a corporate business or a hotel. The experience I’m currently receiving at Bernard Shaw Auditors is giving me great insight into this field.
By Gareth Duncan
– This article first appeared in the April issue of MyPlayers Magazine