Women’s rugby coming along
05 June 2021 | Sports
Several older rugby players have successfully – under the Namibia Rugby Union – managed to boost women’s rugby and increase its participation.
So far, a tournament has been established, and features six teams - Wanderers, Unam, Okahandja, Grootfontein, Kudus and Rehoboth - who have, over the past weekends, been taking part in 10-a-side and 15s friendlies.
The games were supposed to continue for another two weeks with the aim of scouting for new players ahead of the women’s national trials, which were set to take place on 19 June, as well as to establish a fully-fledged women’s league. These have, however, been put on pause due to the latest Covid-19 restrictions on contact sports.
The last time women's rugby was played on senior level in Namibia was in 2014 in the 15-a-side game, while women’s sevens rugby was last played in 2016.
Happy with progress
The coach of Wanderers, Christel Janet ‘CJ’ Kotze, said games have so far brought out quality and the tournament has progressed successfully.
“The progression is amazing. Having six teams playing against each other brings us to another level. The last time I played a tournament was in 2015 and back then we only had two clubs.
“Now there are six clubs taking part in 10- and 15-a-side games. We have new coaches, old and new players stepping up and putting up their hands up. Surely the future of the women’s game is bright in this country.”
Kotze, however, admitted that the ban on contact sport has put a damper on things.
“The announcement takes the momentum which has so far been built away. The ladies were getting into it and starting to understand the game. But, at the end of the day, prohibition is for the safety of the players as well as their families. I just hope that we can lay off this month and get back onto the field as soon as possible,” she said.
The coach of team Grootfontein, Janus Oosthuizen, said he is very happy with his team thus far.
“The team developed like a house on fire. When we started, we only had seven players. Now we have about 25 players and this number grows every day with new players showing interest almost.
“We haven’t gotten a chance to compete so far against the other teams, but I can assure you that the team is one to be reckoned with,” he added.
According to Kudu Bokkies’ team manager Valery Stevens, she is very proud of the team, adding that it is evident that both old and new players are playing their part on the field.
Stevens said that there is still work to do, but with coach Lionel Miller at the helm, the Bokkies are confident.
Miller said that the Bokkies have a pack of forward players who is a force to be reckoned with.
“On defence, the Bokkies are rock solid.”