Kyle Bowman hails from KZN, our Civil Engineer and very own TJ Perenara in the making answers some questions about what he has been up to lately, plans for the future and his role models.
- How old were you when you started playing rugby?
I was about 6 years old, I played for the U7s team. I played for The Crusaders, my local club in Durban, and I remember running around barefoot with the rugby jersey to my ankles. So ya, you could say that I have been playing rugby for a long time.
- What was your first rugby memory?
My first rugby memory would definitely be kicking a ball around with my dad in the garden. The ball never really left my side when I was at home, we used to just throw it around the garden all day.
- Who is your role model and why?
My role model is definitely the All Blacks Scrumhalf TJ Perenara. I have always looked up to him, not only in the way he plays the game, but mostly I take away from his personal life. He has a prominent voice on social media and is vocal in what he stands for. He is also a very loyal guy, he has just had his first child with his wife who he has been with since high school. My nickname in the club is TJ because of this; and I definitely don’t mind it!
- Can you remember your first training session at UCT?
Surprisingly, it was actually very chilled. I wasn’t recruited or anything like that to play rugby for UCT. I ended up going for a touch session with the blue squad; most of the okes playing were also new so it was a very chilled session. I played for the 2nds (Babrows) out of position actually until I eventually started playing for the 1sts. Tom Dawson Squibb actually promoted me, I was called up during league and by the end of that season I got my first team cap. I played in the final of President’s Cup; we didn’t win but it was an absolute experience.
- Why UCT?
From an academic point of view, UCT is the best in Africa. I didn’t necessarily come to UCT for rugby, I am also very focused on my career path and getting a high quality tertiary education. I also knew a couple of older friends who studied at UCT and they loved it. There is a definite student culture that I was really keen on and just getting out my province and learning to live on my own.
- Describe your perfect weekend
It would definitely include rugby that’s for sure. Whether I am playing the game or watching the game, it would definitely come up in my perfect weekend. I’d definitely be chilling with a couple of mates around a social braai and a couple of beers. But on the Sunday, I’d be up early doing a hike or a trail run; definitely something outdoorsy.
- What motivates you to achieve your goals?
It would definitely be my family and my upbringing; I am so lucky in that my parents and everyone around have set me up for success. I feel like I need to make those people proud, they have invested so much into me and I want to ensure that what they have done for me is worth it.
- If you could invite any three of your favourite people to dinner – who would it be and why?
Dennis Rodman: He is an eccentric retired basketball player. I would love to have a conversation with him and see what is going on his head.
TJ Perenara: Same as before; he would definitely be an invaluable addition my table. Barack Obama: I honestly think he just has such a soothing voice; and the way he conducts and commands conversation, I’d love to be just be a part of that.
- What are your plans for the future?
So ya, I have one more year of my degree and I am not totally against possibly doing another year after that – a post-grad in something – but I am still undecided on that one. I am also definitely keen on starting in the professional working world, the earlier you get started, the better success rate they say. Honestly, unless rugby came knocking on my door, I am not necessarily looking for it. At this stage, I am not planning on perusing it as my career path. But with that being said, rugby will always be part of life, in same shape or form.