Pupils excited to play in new rugby jerseys

Captain of the rugby team, Simamkele Mhlawuli, receives a jersey from the South African Rugby Legends Associations managing director, Dale Sandton.

Pupils of three different high schools were excited to receive new rugby jerseys at Spes Bona High School last week after they had been playing in old, oversized gear.

Boys from Spes Bona High School, Windsor High School, and Paarl School of Skills received new rugby jerseys from Spur and the South African Rugby Legends Association as part of the association’s Vuka programme to teach sport to youth all over the Western Cape.

So far it has sponsored and trained 22 880 pupils and 422 high schools.

Spes Bona’s acting principal, Absudusamad Ahmed, said the school had a rich history in sport as the rugby team of 1967 had been unbeaten for a full season and more than half of it had played in the Western Province provincial tournament in Port Elizabeth.

Head of department Gerald Johanes said that sport created good balance among pupils.

“School is not only about academics but about a well-balance- mind, body, and soul. It creates camaraderie, unity, and solidarity among teachers, parents, and pupils.

“It also encourages a good learner presence and boosts self-confidence levels,” he said.

The Spes Bona rugby team consists of 22 boys including reserves.

Grade 10 pupil Simamkele Mhlawuli is the team’s captain. He said they were excited to play in their new jerseys as their old ones had been too big.

“Your investment has given us faith that our futures look bright in rugby and now when we play we will know that we are not alone anymore.

“We are extremely grateful for your support and now we will play comfortably,” he said.

He said that the team trained five days a week and was ready for the upcoming rugby season starting in March.

“We started training last year to check our fitness levels. Our new jerseys are bright colours which makes us excited to play. My team is very happy, and we are totally ready for the season,” he said.

Ex pupil Goeff Crowser, said: “I attended this school in 1968, me and my brother, and after a while we noticed that everyone played rugby so we joined in. I went offside 30 times because I didn’t know the rules of the game but I learnt. This school was not only good at rugby but at soccer, hockey, and athletics too. For eight years in a row, we were the best.”

He encouraged pupils to use sport to lead a balanced life.

“Excel in your academics and enjoy your journey forward in sport and school, take it from your heart,” he said.