The Nashua Skills Rugby Project together with ShadowBall hosted a coaching clinic for U14 rugby players under the watchful eye of former Springbok star Gcobani Bobo at Framesby High School yesterday.
Budding stars from Framesby High School and Gelvandale High benefited from the initiative, which is intended to rapidly increase ball skills among the young players by 20% in four weeks.
Furthermore, it helps them with control and confidence on the field.
During the clinic, 60-odd children bravely took on the six gruelling drills that featured long-distance passing, accuracy with the ball and a 360 passing drill.
The training session used a uniquely designed rugby ball that helped the children train by themselves at the stations.
Gary Crookes, who designed the ball, said using it was more beneficial to the children because it did not require them to have a teammate to practise with.
Nashua franchise and marketing manager Tish Mogongwa said: “We have decided on selecting schools that have a lot of potential in rugby.
“The identified school then forwards the name of an underprivileged school to also take part in the clinic.”
Heading the coaching along with four assistants was ShadowBall ambassador Bobo, who has a passion for working with youngsters.
Bobo said he was inspired to join the initiative because it fed the purpose of giving back and passing on his experience to aspiring rugby players.
“The programme is just one way we can transfer values and share insights about the discipline required to become a professional, as well as boost skills by highlighting the most important parts of the game – passing and catching,” Bobo said.
“This will be a good start for us in trying to unearth the hidden talent in the youngsters and I hope these boys use this experience as reference when they follow careers in rugby.”
“This opportunity is set to give them direction and guidance for the future.”
The Skills Rugby Project is looking to work with 36 affluent schools and then team them up with less privileged schools to share ideas and help hone the players’ rugby abilities.
“Establishing a relationship with the Gelvandale High School is a step in the right direction when it comes to youth development,” Framesby’s head of rugby, Louis Gerber, said. “We look forward to assisting [them].” The project has benefited 400 children so far since its establishment last year.