NEW RUGBY BOSS: Ilhaam Groenewald is SA Rugby’s first female council member. CREDIT: Sourced
The wheels of transformation are slowly turning at SA Rugby, which has just appointed its first female executive council member.

Ilhaam Groenewald was elected last week and will be attending her first meeting as part of the executive in the City next week.

The Cape Town woman will bring her extensive experience in sports management to the table as she joins the 12-person executive council.

Groenewald says there was “no hesitation” when she was asked to join Saru.

She was excited to contribute towards rugby in South Africa.

“I know SA Rugby has a very good story to tell and they are working hard to change the shape of the sport - as well as converting misplaced perceptions about it.

“I believe I have a very good understanding of sport at the grassroots level in our country and the challenges that are faced by our young athletes. I hope that type of background will offer some value to the Executive Council.”

Groenewald has a long list of qualifications, including a Bachelors Degree in business administration and a Masters in sports management.

She is also not a stranger when it comes to shattering glass ceilings for women - in 2014 she became the first woman to be appointed chief director of Maties Sport at Stellenbosch University, a position once occupied by legendary Springbok Danie Craven.

She was also the first woman to serve as chair of University Sports South Africa and is the current First Vice-President of University Sport South Africa.