Fungayi Munyoro Sports Correspondent
IT’S all systems go for the first edition of Zimbabwe Rugby Union Manicaland Sevens women rugby tournament set for Mutare Sports Club on April 6.
The competition comes amid Manicaland Rugby Board’s relentless efforts to popularise the sport at grassroots level and improve the participation of the girl child in the sport.
Kick off time is 8am.
This grassroots talent development initiative has drawn positive comments with the many stakeholders praising the organisers.
The move is widely perceived as an empowerment tool for the girl child who has usually has been overshadowed in a male dominated sports genre. Manicaland Rugby Board chairman Josiah Borerwe said he is looking forward to an exciting event.
“We have done everything in terms of preparations for the event. We are looking forward to host more than 15 schools and clubs across the country.
“We have Mutare Girls High, Sahumani, Dangamvura, Vainona, Muterere, Police Defenders Queens, Goromonzi High, Dzivarasekwa 1 High, Mt Pleasant High, Mutare Ladies Club, Mutare Poly and Nyamauru High School. We are celebrating the women’s month through a women rugby tournament. It is a national event,” he said.
Sahumani coach Crispen Nyakatsapa applauded organisers of the tournament saying that it encourages more and more girls to play the game of rugby.
“We are happy as Sahumani to participate in this tournament. Such tournaments bring exposure to our players. The continued participation of girls at such tournaments has been a much needed boost in the development of the ladies game in the province. These tournaments help to improve the standard of girls’ schools rugby,” he said.
ZRU women’s committee chairperson Abigail Mnikwa said the Zimbabwe Rugby Union Sevens Rugby Tournament is an annual event to celebrate women’s day.
“We decided to take it to the provinces starting with Manicaland, where women’s rugby is growing. It’s just a day to bring together girls and women in order to celebrate women’s month whilst showcasing rugby,” she said.
Women’s rugby in the province is on a growth trajectory.
Many schools in the province have girls’ teams that play the game and even some schools from the rural areas. In Makoni district, Sahumani and Muterere were among the 34 girls teams that took part at the popular annual fete – Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival last year’s edition.
Sahumani’s performance caught the attention of national selectors with Catherine Muranganwa, Mavis Zunga , Mary Birwa Privilege Mabhozhera and Fortunate Nyamavanga all selected to be part of the Zimbabwe girls Under-18 team that took part in the Craven week in South Africa last year.