LEO Mbini, coach of local rugby team Berlin Tigers, is hosting the first-ever U12 and U13 rugby tournament, called the Berlin School Rugby Revival Programme. The tournament started on July 25 and will run until September 12.
Mbini said he came up with the idea for a rugby programme because he saw the of the eagerness of young children flocking into senior teams.
“I saw that these young boys are passionate about the sport, but there are not enough tournaments that accommodate their age groups, especially in the rural areas. There are about 14 schools in and around Berlin that are participating, and we are using Nkosinathi Fields and Berlin Primary School’s sport field,” said Mbini.
“I spoke to the treasurer of Eastern Cape Sports Confederation treasurer Phumelele Hlati about my proposal. and he was happy with it. He then spoke to Border Rugby and they were happy to assist us. We also got help from Child’s World Primary School and local business Kleanit,” he said.
Hlati said they allocated a certain amount of R367,000 for the junior programmes in the four areas – Chris Hani District Municipality, Buffalo City Municipality, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and Joe Gqabi District Municipality – that are participating. , which are Chris Hani District Municipality, Buffalo City Municipality, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and Joe Gqabi District Municipality.
“The main aim is to revive rugby in township and rural areas. as the sport code is gradually dying there. This league is meant to prepare the U12 players for the U13 league next year. Towards the end of the year, a squad will be selected that for where they will be prepared for the U13 team,” said Hlati.
Hlati said the confederation provides transport on a weekly basis, sporting equipment and other logistics.
Mbini said they are focusing on U12 and U13 players “as we are looking to have future Bulldogs and Springboks rugby players from this programme. We will be selecting about 35 boys that will be looked after by the coaches and next year they will be part of the trials for Border U13 teams”.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in this – from schools, teachers, coaches, Berlin Tigers, Border Rugby and the Eastern Cape Sports Confederation,” he said. for all the support they giving me. This will develop the future of the rugby fraternity,” concluded Mbini.