ZRU push for more women’s teams
THE Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) has made it mandatory for all clubs that want to compete in the National Rugby League (NRL) to have women’s teams in a move aimed at developing the game.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ZRU-organised National Girls Cup at Hartsfield Ground on Saturday, the association’s national women’s development manager Reuben Kumpasa said they are concerned about the number of female players lost to the game after leaving secondary school.
Harare’s Vainona High beat Goromonzi 19-0 in the final of the eight-team tournament that had 2014 winners Girls High of Harare, two Chitungwiza schools and St Bernard’s, Northlea and Nkulumane High from Bulawayo.
Kumpasa said most players from schools’ rugby will form the core of women’s clubs.
He said the establishment of women’s rugby clubs would see a number of school leavers taking up the sport.
Kumpasa said through ZRU’s development programmes, they had managed to create a big player base for women’s rugby.
“Schools are strategic places for development of any sport and I’m happy to say that through ZRU’s development programmes we’ve been able to have more girls playing rugby at their schools.
“The union has also made it mandatory for men’s clubs that will be in the NRL next year to make sure they set up women’s teams.
“This is meant to keep the girls playing rugby even after school because that is the stage which we lose players,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Matabeleland Rugby Football Board (MRFB) secretary-general Craig Change said they had made strides towards establishing partnerships with schools for development purposes, as well as tertiary institutions to increase their presence.
“The major challenge is that we do not have sponsors, but we believe that through this initiative and other plans we have, we will be able to attract corporate partners and set up these women’s clubs.
“Actually some of our clubs already have women’s clubs, which have been competing at our Sevens tournaments,” said Change.
Some women’s teams that have been taking part in MRFB organised Sevens competitions are Eagles, Nyambosi, Bulldogs and Great Zimbabwe University.