NRU focusing on development

09 Aug 2016 09:20am
WINDHOEK, 09 AUG (NAMPA) – The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) in collaboration with World Rugby, the sport’s world governing body, is running three developmental programmes in the country.
Developmental Officer at the NRU, Christopher Alexander, the told Nampa on Monday the three programmes to develop and improve the standard of rugby are the ‘Get into rugby’ programme, Training and Education and Women’s Rugby.
The ‘Get into rugby’ programme started in 2013 and involves the introduction of rugby at schools that previously did not play the sport. The aim of this programme is to recruit 25 000 children throughout the country over the next three years.
Previously, this programme failed due to several reasons including a lack of trained staff and funding, and misunderstandings between the NRU and some line ministries.
“We now have Government, through the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture to help us implement this programme in the North. We have the kids who are interested in taking up rugby as their sport of choice there but we do not have the manpower to help us implement this programme,” said Alexander.
He said at the beginning of October 2016 they will be in northern Namibia to train at least 40 to 50 coaches (mostly teachers) in the basics of rugby. “We want to use the physical education periods for Grades 1 and 2. We also hope to use former rugby players and those who are unemployed to cultivate an interest in rugby. Then, we will look at developing the children as they grow.”
The Training and Education programme focuses on developing the skills of coaches, administrators, team managers, fitness and conditioning specialists, first-aid officials and other match officials.
“This is quite a challenging one because people do not want to be trained. For example, we are targeting at least 25 coaches on Level-one yearly. We would then want to have at least 10 moving up to Level-two and have a minimum of three coaches going to do Level-three in South Africa and France. We will also do the same with other fields.”
Women’s Rugby is the final initiative that NRU is currently working on and Alexander noted how it has become an internationally recognised discipline.
“We are finding women’s rugby challenging for one reason or the other, but we are making considerable strides into penetrating that market. This is now an Olympic sport so we hope women in Namibia will take it up and the public must support the women.”
Last year, the women’s rugby programme was introduced at private schools, with three schools from Rehoboth and two in Windhoek taking part. This year, seven more schools from the southern parts of Namibia were added. There was a Sevens inter-schools competition two weeks ago and the next one takes place in Windhoek at the end of August.
Alexander noted that all this training is vital if Namibia is to become a force to reckon with in the world of rugby.
Training coaches at grassroots level, he said, will help Namibia produce top quality players and administrators, whereby more and more people will develop an interest in rugby and improve the quality of the sport.