UKZN award 18 rugby bursaries for 2013

2012-12-05 00:00

The UKZN Rugby Club and the UKZN Rugby Alumni have awarded rugby bursaries to 18 talented young players.

UKZN were rapidly falling behind in their ability to retain their place in the second-tier Varsity Shield — never mind in their efforts to try and get into the elite Varsity Cup — and have survived what would have been a terminal exit from the competitions by winning their Shield relegation match last season.

Had they lost, UKZN would have likely never recovered, as positions in the competition have been entrenched until 2015 according to the new rules instituted by the organisers. With that all prospects of competing for quality players against the major rugby universities in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Potchefstroom, Stell-enbosch and Cape Town would have been nil. Had UKZN been relegated, even universities lower down the rung at Fort Hare and Western Cape would have attracted rugby players ahead of UKZN.

However, survival in the Varsity Shield has meant that in the off-season the UKZN administrators and supporters have been working feverishly to strengthen the player base of the Pietermaritzburg campus-based UKZN squad.

And the outcome is that the UKZN mother body has awarded full tuition bursaries to KZN Schools’ prop Msizi Zondi (B.Civ.Eng) and three members of the Sharks U19 squad; centre Rico Lategan (B.Com), scrumhalf Donovan O’Grady (B.A) and prop Leon Mulder (B.Soc.Sc). UKZN will also re-award tuition bursaries to three current players, flyhalf Carl Meyer (B.B.A.), hooker Mikyle Webster (B.Soc.Sc) and front-ranker Richard Mhlongo (B.Soc.Sc).

In addition to the university-funded bursaries, the UKZN Rugby Club and UKZN Rugby Alumni have collectively raised enough money to fund the tuition of another 11 students.

Winger Yandisa Mdolombo (Sports Science), scrumhalf Graham Koch (BSc Agric), flank Zwela Zondi (BBA.) and scrumhalf Zamkele Khumalo (BSc Agric) will receive alumni-sponsored bursaries. Current players Andre Greyvenstein (flank), Sizwe Khubeha (prop), Langa Makhaya (prop) and Sanele Mweli (prop) will also benefit from UKZN Rugby Club bursaries, as will newcomers Trevor Mvundura (lock, from Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), Zander Erasmus (utility forward, ex-University of Potchefstroom) and Brendan Cope (flyhalf, Sharks U19)

The UKZN Rugby Club is pursuing tuition bursaries for eight more high-profile players who are interested in continuing their studies at UKZN.

Interested benefactors should contact UKZNRC sports officer for rugby, Reggie Smith, at smithreg@ukzn.ac.

za for more information. Now the only question is how to turn that promise into results when the Varsity Shield kicks into action early next year.

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