Schools rugby league soars to new heights
More than 1 500 boys and girls aged between 8 and 10 years old will participate in the 2012 Let’s Play Schools Rugby Project in partnership with the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, launched at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday and attended by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Sport, Gert Oosthuizen.
The schools league project was introduced in 2011 by Let’s Play and the BBRU which aimed to deliver and sustain sport in schools by means of a dedicated rugby development programme, which is in line with the vision of the National Department of Education’s School Sport Policy.
Barend van Graan, Blue Bulls Company CEO, said it is imperative for the Union to have this partnership with the Department of Basic Education (Gauteng), the City of Tshwane and the Gauteng Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Department to ensure that goals are achieved and that talent is nurtured
Vaughn Bishop, Manager Let’s Play (SuperSport) stated: “In the pilot project last year, we introduced 1 500 boys and girls in the 7 to 10 year old age group to basic rugby skills and paid particular attention to those schools that fell under the former disadvantaged communities.
"Like the School Sport Policy, we want to play our part in promoting healthy lifestyles through sport participation while creating and nurturing a sporting culture in our community.”
This year, rugby will be introduced formally to 44 identified primary schools from the Inner City, Pioneer Sub-West, Pioneer Sub-East and Pioneer North regions.
Through the Let’s Play Schools Rugby Project, the BBRU intends to create a sustainable rugby culture, present an inclusive programme for both boys and girls. This programme will incorporate various formats and facets of the game, while also assisting to market and promote rugby within communities and empower clusters to host their own schools leagues.
Other objectives of the project include the training of coaches and officials, monitoring of training sessions at schools, assisting with match fixtures, providing equipment and the creation of a talent identification programme.
Bulletjie Rugby Rules apply and the league will take the format of tag rugby. Each cluster will have a league of eight schools, with each school expected to field three teams (two boys teams and one girls team) of Under 8s, Under 9s and Under 10s. All schools in a cluster will play at one venue.