SOUTH African Touch Association (Sata) in partnership with Buffalo City Municipality held its first touch rugby training clinic at Ebenezer Majombozi High School in Duncan Village on Thursday.
Four schools participated: John Bisseker Secondary School, Greenpoint High School, Ebenezer Majombozi High School and Alphendale Secondary School.
Former principal and member of SEED Education Trust Dave and Ingrid Wylde, initiated the training clinic to grow the love of rugby in the province. Wylde said Sata was established in 1994 ,and has a full membership of the Federation of International Touch (FIT). “Each of the nine official regional associations have their own executive committees, with a constitution that is in line with Sata. The amateur status of the sport and its impressive growth bears testament to the appeal of the sport and the commitment of the players who have been bitten by the ‘touch bug,’ Wylde said.
More than 50 pupils from schools in Pefferville and Duncan Village participated at the training clinic which was coached by Sata member, Craig Mason.
“Touch has been growing rapidly in the country and Sata has firmly established in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, so the aim is to get the game up and running in the Eastern Cape,” Wylde said.
“It is inexpensive to implement as it needs little sporting equipmentt, cones, balls and a space to play so it is ideal for underfunded communities and schools. It is played equally by boys and girls and the rules of Touch are international.
“This project started out small but we hope it will grow to include as many teams that want to join the association in the future.”Chairman of Buffalo Municipality Touch Association, and teacher at Greenpoint High School, Mark Stewart, gathered a team of young people for his executive who are already involved in programmes to motivate, empower and uplift young people.
“Unemployed youth will be trained up as coaches and referees with U19, U17 and U15 teams that will compete with a development team of U14 players,” Stewart said.
Grade 12 pupil of Ebenezer Majombi, Nambithaa Msutwana,18, said she was interested in participating as it was rare for girls to play.
“It is not normal at my school or community to see girls play rugby as it is perceived as a boys’ sport, but I made it a point that I will try it out, regardless of what people say, because I enjoy watching it, and I will enjoy playing it,” Msutwana said.