Rugby boys make community proud

2016-05-17 06:00
A group of boys from Parkfields Primary School in Hanover Park, playing for the Caledonian Roses primary team, received vibrant new jerseys after they successfully won all three matches played at a mini-rugby day held on Saturday 7 May.  PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

A group of boys from Parkfields Primary School in Hanover Park, playing for the Caledonian Roses primary team, received vibrant new jerseys after they successfully won all three matches played at a mini-rugby day held on Saturday 7 May. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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They only started playing rugby at the beginning of this year and already they are champions.

The junior rugby team from Caledonian Roses in Athlone recently took top spot when they won all three games at a mini rugby day hosted at Bellville Technical on Saturday 7 May.

And for their brilliant efforts, the u.7 team from Parkfields Primary in Hanover Park received new jerseys, sponsored by Spur Steak Ranches, at their school on Wednesday 13 May.

Caledonians Primary convener and coach Shafiek Abrahams says he is really proud of the team and their sterling efforts to bring home gold. “We are very proud of the progress that our u.7 team has made so far. Considering that they only started practising during in February this year and are already showing amazing results, gives us great hope for this team,” Abrahams says.

The neon green jerseys which the team received at their school on Wednesday will “help identify them to more youth in the area”, Abrahams says.

“These jerseys belong to the boys now and will identify them as active rugby players. We also hope this sparks an interest from their peers to get into the game as well and to get out of the grip of negativity surrounding the community,” Abrahams says.

He says the Caledonians currently have 60 primary school players between the ages of seven and 13 and 60 high school players between the ages of 14 and 19.

They are working on getting more youth involved in the sport.

“We are working on honing sporting skills in our youth and so far they have been doing really amazing work. We are glad it is already reaping rewards,” Abrahams says.

Shaheed Jaffa, treasurer at the Caledonians Rugby Club, says allowing these boys to take part in the sport from a young age allows them to “uplift their school work”.

“Because we are a group of men from this area, we understand the needs and challenges of our youth. But with rugby one can see that these boys are taking more pride in their school work as well and some of them are doing better than they have before,” Jaffa says.

Abrahams explains that through the efforts of the club and support from local organisations such as Sanzaf and Nakhlistan, they are able to feed the boys every week when they come for practise.

“Many of these children grow up in homes where they leave home in the morning without lunch for the day or even breakfast. Luckily when they come to practice once a week, they are given a meal, and on match days they are also given a meal – thanks to the efforts of these organisations,” Abrahams says.

However, the club says despite support received from these local organisations, there are still challenges and they need the help of the community to keep the youth in the sport.

“We are really struggling with transport. This is a big concern and we really would appreciate all assistance in this regard,” Jaffa says.

Added to this, Abrahams says they also need donations for white shorts for the youth.

“We do have a service provider who will charge us way less for white shorts for our boys, but still some of them cannot afford it. We would like to appeal to any businesses or individuals who can assist in buying white rugby shorts for our boys,” Abrahams says.

Faldie Jassiem, the primary players coach, says he is happy and proud of the boys and their achievements.

“They have done very well and when they received those jerseys on match day we could see they were overwhelmed. It gives them a sense of pride and restores dignity to our youth which is very important. The jerseys are vibrant and makes them look professional as well,” Jassiem says.

The team has encouraged other schools to contact the rugby club as well to get boys onto a team at the club.

“We want all our schools to take part in this programme to restore dignity in our area and to motivate all youth,” Jassiem says.

V If you would like to donate to the Caledonian junior players or enquire about signing your child up, contact Shafeek Abrahams on 073 138 9789 or email shafeekabr25@gmail.com.

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