THE Manicaland Rugby Board is forging ahead with its intensive rural talent development drive with the setting up of rugby district boards in a move aimed at spreading a game once perceived to be elitist to marginalised areas.
Ambitious efforts to spread the game to marginalised areas in Manicaland has unearthed unpolished gems in Honde Valley through the Sahumani Secondary School girls.
Developments in Honde Valley have left the Manicaland Rugby Board with an insatiable appetite to go deeper into rural areas in search of talent.
Manicaland Rugby Board chairman and Zimbabwe Rugby Union board member, Josiah Borerwe, told Post Sport that they will be opening district rugby boards to decentralise the administration of the game and enable teams and schools from marginalised areas to partake in rugby competitions.
“Our role is to foster, encourage and promote the game of rugby throughout Zimbabwe. We want to create a space for the development of the sport, thus encouraging participation at international games. It is against this background that we are continuing with our efforts to develop the game in all parts of the country.
“We all know that in Honde Valley, the initiative gave birth to Sahumani flying girls.
“In Makoni District we now have a rugby team. I am yet to travel to Chimanimani, Nyanga and Buhera.
“This week we are starting with Chipinge where elections for the district board will be conducted,” said Borerwe.
The Manicaland Rugby Board’s ambitious rural rugby development drive, which led to the birth of Sahumani Secondary School girls’ rugby team, continued to score successes following the establishment of a jungle gym in Honde Valley.
A strenuous mission for coaches, Phanuel Toro and Shepherd Mundozi, backed by provincial rugby administration leadership, saw female youngsters at the remote Sahumani Secondary School defying all odds to leave a mark in their debut appearance at the prestigious Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival in Harare in 2017.
The following year, Sahumani girls put up a commendable performance at the festival, leading to the selection of Catherine Muranganwa, Mavis Zunga, Mary Birwa, Privilege Mabhozhera and Fortunate Nyamavanga to be part of the Zimbabwe Girls’ Under-18 team that took part in the Craven Week in South Africa the same year.
Borerwe said the green light to resume high risk sports after the lengthy Covid-19 lockdown layoff will see the board intensifying its preparations to start training and hopefully host competitive warm-up matches.
“We now preparing to resume with light training and touch rugby — non conduct game.
“We will resume with due diligence and Covid-19 rules and regulations will be strictly adhered to at all costs,” said Borerwe.