Women Rugby to make a return

Namibian Women’s rugby
is set to make a long
awaited return after
struggling since its
introduction to the country four years
ago, former Namibia Rugby Union
(NRU) Chief Executive Officer
and current development manager,
Christo Alexander has revealed.
“We just had a meeting with
Namibian School Sports Union
(NSSU) National Coordinator, Solly
Duiker this morning and we are
planning to introduce women’s rugby
to schools soon,” Alexander told The
Villager sport.
He revealed that from the original
six clubs within local women’s
rugby, only two remain, namely
Phoenix Rugby club and Reho
Pandas, but even they continue to
struggle with more players leaving
the teams due to other commitments.
“We have been quiet but we plan
to pick up soon. It’s very difficult to
be active with only two teams in the
country. We will have a campaign
targeting schools within Windhoek
and Rehoboth and hopefully other
towns soon. NSSU will discuss
it with the Ministry of national
services, sport and culture, and we
will wait for permission from them,”
Alexander said.
After attending a workshop held
under the African Rugby Union
in Cape Town last year, he said he
learned that it is wiser to introduce
rugby to women much earlier.
“The mistake we did was
introducing rugby to adults. Within
that time, they will get married
and have children and with their
responsibilities will keep them from
the team. From the stats that they
shared with us at the workshop,
introducing rugby to girls in
secondary school is more beneficial,
that way they can be available for at
least eight years,” Alexander said.
NRU plan to get the campaign off by
the next semester, which will resume
in the middle of May for government
schools.
Some of the challenges that have
affected the growth of women rugby
in Namibia include the perception
that the sport is only for men.
“There’s a perception that rugby
is only a man’s sport, or for lesbians
but that is not the case at all. It is an
exciting sport that can be played by
anyone, white, black, regardless,”
Alexander argued.
He said it might be too early to
assemble a new national women’s
rugby team this year, but should they
obtain success with their campaign,
NRU plan to have a new one by next
year.
In October 2013 Namibian rugby
team, the Desert Roses, played their
first international test match against
Botswana, managed by Lionel
Muller and captained by Geraldine
Louw.
The international scene remained
silent for the most part, but club
rugby has enjoyed some bright
moments. In September last year
the two surviving women’s clubs,
Phoenix and Reho Pandas contested
a final for the women’s rugby trophy
which Phoenix won 17-14.