Bold initiataive for rugby

Mogan Segadavan

TIRED of being the whipping boys whenever their schools compete against the former Model C schools, a group of rugby loving teachers have launched a bold initiative to improve the standard of rugby in their schools.
The Northern Areas High School Rugby Initiative (NAHSRI) was formed by the teachers at 14 high schools in the area. Non-rugby playing schools like Woolhope Secondary, St Thomas and Morningside have also been included.
“Whenever our boys play against the former Model C schools the matches are one-sided and our boys are humiliated and soon become demotivated,” said the initiative’s secretary, George Piedt, a teacher at Hillside Secondary.
“Although we do not have the same facilities [as the former Model C schools] we want to make our teams competitive.
“We realise that this will not happen overnight but we are going to give it our best shot.”
Last week the NAHSRI organised a seven-a-side tournament for both boys and girls at the Adcock Stadium.
On Monday a Night Series will be launched at the Gelvandale Stadium.
According to Piedt, Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Zanoxolo Wayile will be among the guests.
The series is scheduled to start on February 27.
According to NAHSRI chairman Shawn Fondling the initiative has planned a series of clinics and mini-tournaments for the rest of the year to generate interest in rugby and revive the sport among pupils in the Northern Areas.
The first clinic will be held at Woolhope Secondary in Malabar.
In last week’s seven-a-side tournament Hillside High School won the boys’ section, beating Chatty Senior Secondary High 24-5.
In the preliminary rounds they thumped Westville (35-2) and Chapman (38-0).
In the loser’s final Livingstone beat Gelvandale 24-5.
Gelvandale beat Sanctor 12-5 to win the girls’ final.
One of the features of the tournament was the effort of the St Thomas girls’ team which beat Sanctor 5-0 despite never having played the game before. They won the loser’s section by default.

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