The Mdantsane rugby fraternity continues to grow, helped along by the 043 Rugby Development Programme with Luvuyo Madliki as the convenor.
The programme first came about in 2014 with the aim of reviving rugby in Mdantsane.
“We grew up in Mdantsane with rugby being a huge factor in our lives, as it is one thing that got us out of trouble.
“As result, we have SA rugby legends like Ntando Kebe whom we grew up playing with in NU1 vs NU3 games every Saturday.
“Initially, we wanted to focus on under-17s with this programme to groom players for the U18 Craven Week but due to no starting capital and sponsors, that idea bombed out,” said Madliki.
His vision is to see the programme grow bigger each year, improve community engagement and create job opportunities for the youth to help reduce crime.
This year has been a breakthrough for the programme as they received funding from the Eastern Cape Sports Confederation (ECSC) on the condition that the programme includes younger players.
“I changed from Uunder-17 to focussing on Uunder-12, to groom them for the U13 Craven Week.
“I had to visit all senior primary schools in Mdantsane to convince pupils to come and join the programme.
“Some of the schools were happy about this programme and some were very hesitant.
“We created a league that will take place every Wednesday afternoon at Rubusana Fields,” Madliki said.
He said the main inspiration behind the programme is they feel the children from disadvantaged backgrounds are not playing sport and as a result, tend to develop bad habits at a very young age,” said Madliki said.
“The youth of Mdantsane do not get a chance to showcase their talent and get chances to play professionally, so this programme will reduce bad habits and will give them a chance.”
Madliki said that 30 players players are selected annually for the Mdantsane U12 “dream team” to play in the Border U13 trials.
“ECSC is the only stakeholder so far that is on board with us.
“We are hoping for more stakeholders in 2020 as we have so much we want to do on this programme, next year, so if there are any people who want to help, it would be appreciated.”
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