Young Gladiators captain Julia Rutjindo is amongst the few sports women who have mastered the art of playing two different sport codes.
The nineteen (19) year old who grew up in the dusty streets of Katutura with both her parents and seven siblings ,started playing netball and football at the tender age of seven (7).
Julia played for her school team St Barnabas Primary School before gradually making it into the national team set up.
She made her debut in 2013 at thirteen (13) when Namibia played against Botswana in the NSSU annual games.
“It is more of a dejavu because the first time I played an international match was against Botswana and now I’ll be leading my team as they take on Botswana for the very first time on home soil.We are ready and training is going exceptionally well. The fitness levels of the girls is optimum and that was evident in the friendly game we played against Ramblers on Tuesday “ says
The Grade 12 learner at Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School led the Young Gladiators to their first COSAFA appearance in 2019. They lost out to Zimbabwe in the quarterfinals stage of the tournament but they have since improved.
Julia also made a name for herself in the Namibian Netball scenery.She currently plays for Tigers Netball Club and featured in the 2018 Khomas Regional team for the Namibian Newspaper Cup.
She has a bubbly personality and upon completing her matric Julia wants to major in law while playing professional football.
“ Ronald Ketjijere showed us that a full time career while being a footballer is possible and there are no limitations to what a Namibian Child can achieve. My teammate Lydiana Nanamus also serves as a great role model to all the girls in the center,she passed her matric with flying colors and she will be graduating in April with a Degree in Science at the Namibia University of Science and Technology and this are the kind of things I aspire to do” says the defender.
Julia is one of the few players who plays for both the Brave Gladiators and Young Gladiators and will be in action on Sunday afternoon 17h00 as the Young Gladiators takes on Botswana in their first leg of the 2020 FIFA Women U20 World Cup Qualifers. Come see her in action.