Gains of Mwana Rugby Festival

10 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Gains of Mwana Rugby Festival Mavhudzi High School played against Dzivarasekwa, Tichakunda and Pathway Group of Schools during the recently held Mwana Rugby Festival

The ManicaPost

 

Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

 

THE 2024 edition of the rebranded Mwana Rugby Festival has come and gone, but the boost in talent development at national scale will remain its greatest legacy, while participants from Manicaland Province are still counting the sporting as well as social gains of having been part of the 120 schools that took part in the competition.

Mavhudzi High, one of the three schools from Manicaland that participated in the competition held in Harare last week, played three matches like the rest of the teams that participated. Of those three matches, Mavhudzi played against Dzivarasekwa, Tichakunda and Pathway Group of Schools.

They won the first match, drew the second and lost the last one.

Mavhudzi High School coach, Takudzwa Mudzuka, said: “It was a learning curve for the team as a whole, and hopefully we will have three wins during the next edition of the tournament. We played very well during our first two matches, but injuries saw us having five key players being retired to the bench during the last match.

“Everyone played well, but our captain, Ashley Tsar Chimbandidza and Blessing Boika Murangwana were instrumental in rallying the team.” Marist Nyanga and Mutare Boys’ High School were the other two schools that participated. Mwana Group proprietor, Kuda Mutenda said: “Some of the success areas include the fact that rugby was played at all levels, by 120 teams (8am to 5pm, over seven days). This is the only rugby tournament which attracts a number of schools as they don’t have leagues during the year.

“Long term infrastructural improvements and developments to the host school were also witnessed. More than 250 people were trained in five different courses (Level One Coaching, Level One Referees, Level One Medics, Sports Science and Sports Administration) free of charge to the participants.

“People who normally do not watch rugby were given a chance to watch and enjoy rugby. In short, we gave hope to the country. ?50 talented and promising (boys and girls) athletes were selected for specialised further development to fully realise their potential over the next 12 months, with a regional tour to Zambia in 2024 in the pipeline.

“It is also worth noting that this competition defied social barriers, as all social classes were represented and enhanced participation of women and the girl child, both on and off the pitch.

“Lastly, but equally important is the fact that we aggressively campaigned against drug abuse through the whole festival, with over 1 000 learners going through counselling sessions from qualified doctors and counsellors from Drug Free Zim,” said Mutenda.

Manicaland Rugby Board chairperson, Mos Kapumha, said: “We would like to appreciate the school heads who made it possible for their schools to be part of this national festival, the biggest and longest running in Zimbabwe – The Mwana Festival.

“The players, both boys and girls, were given good quality opponents and exposed to the country’s finest rugby playing schools. The coaches’ tactics and credentials were put to test.

“A big thank you to the organiser, Kuda Mutenda and his Mwana Festival committee for embarking on this journey and giving our learners a platform and opportunity to express their talents, skills and humility on such a grand stage.

“We have 10 rugby referring officials who were part of these games. They were giving their services and also horning their skills. One of them was Eve Chisingarambwi, a new certified Rugby Africa match commissioner. It was a first for Manicaland. The Mwana Festival Super Week also came with a training and education programme which saw three Manicaland participants, two ladies and one male getting certified across different strands accredited by World Rugby.”

 

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