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Talented Rugby Players cry for recognition

Date Released: Fri, 19 October 2012 13:59 +0200

Players in the Makana area are disheartened by the lack of recognition that scouts and Government regard them. Township schools in the Makana area have to brace the shortage of equipment that their schools have to offer and the rivalry of playing against private schools that have sufficient sporting equipment, as well as the recognition they receive from scouts visiting the Makana area.

Learners at Nathaniel Nyaluza Secondary School in Fingo Village are at a constant struggle to improve their rugby sportsmanship under harsh conditions; their defaced field does not deter their love of the game but it is putting in the extra hard work, practicing for their matches against upscale schools to suffer through the neglect from scouts and local government.

The team has to travel from their school to use the Rhodes University field and facilities, the lack of basic facilities such as mouth guards, rugby boots, cones and rugby scrum machines is a true test of their determination. The preference to practice in other places is due to the struggle to fulfill the exercise of using the scrum machine, as half the team members have to add weight to it to accomplish the point of the exercise.

Mr. Lamani head coach of the schools rugby team comments that not only do his players have to have discipline and hard work but they have to fight self doubt, “the players are talented and skilled on the field, we play an intelligent game that puts us at the same level as our opponents but we often suffer a loss because the players become intimidated when their opponents show off their skills”.

Lamani who is a former rugby player himself understands the frustrations of the players have because being from the community of Makana there is not a great deal of sports that is promoted for the main purpose of the players. One player who is familiar with the lack of recognition for township players is Unathi Kongwana, a talented player who was promised an opportunity for try outs for the national team but was later denied the opportunity.

 Learners who want to pursue rugby at a professional level are skeptical of their chances to make it into the national teams due to the lack of self confidence that scout have in them. One of the talented rugby players in this team is Liyanda Ngqoyiya a matric student who dreams of playing varsity rugby then later professional rugby, has been anticipating for a university scout to select him for a sports bursary to make his dream come true as he is the best amongst his peers.

Liyanda reiterates on his hopes “I have been called by scouts who are recruiting for universities but nothing has been confirmed as of yet, I have been playing rugby for six years and want to continue until I am selected to play for the Springboks”.

Local scouts and sponsors prefer to go to schools St Andrews, Graeme College leaving out schools such as Nathaniel Nyaluza who deserve to be given the same opportunities to participate in the FNB classic clashes which is the FNB sponsored rugby programme for schools in South Africa.

By Boitumelo Rakuba

Source: Grocott’s Mail