PMB Collegians launches exciting new junior rugby programme

2013-09-03 00:00

EXCITING times are afoot at Pietermaritzburg Collegians Rugby Football Club, which has started a junior club rugby programme for the first time in the KZN capital sporting institution’s 110-year history.

“We have started out with an U16 side to test the waters and have been pleased with the response,” said PMB Collegians junior rugby co-ordinator Sean Jones. He is also vice-chairperson of the senior club under the direction of chairperson Didier Claite.

“We have had numerous calls from parents across the board enquiring about this initiative, which has broader implications for the health and growth of club rugby in the capital city.”|

Jones told The Witness that the beauty of the venture is that it does not interfere with school rugby at all.

“In fact it complements and adds to school rugby, as the league only starts at the end of July. The league is governed and managed by the Durban Rugby Sub-Union (DRSU), it is efficient, safe and well-run.”

All league matches are played on Sundays with each participating club given the opportunity to host a Sunday round of fixtures. This single-venue concept brings players and their supporters and families together at different clubs on a weekly basis, which makes for a regular social occasion as much as a rugby occasion.

“Without much in the way of publicity, we started the season with 15 boys and in the space of three weeks the number has grown by word-of-mouth to 36 youngsters,” said Jones. “As a club — and as parents of keen young rugby players — this growth validates our decision to get involved and it is already apparent that a need is being met. A fair number of the boys who come to us are from schools that aren’t considered top-tier rugby schools.”

The schoolboy rugby players who are currently on the PMB Collegians junior programme’s books are from schools as diverse as Siyabonga, Eastwood, Glenwood, Maritzburg Christian School, Carter High, as well as top-tier rugby schools such as Maritzburg College and St Charles.

Indeed, there was once a promising junior clubs’ programme in the KZN capital as far back as the seventies, when the likes of former Natal stars Pierre de Lange and Doc Louw were among the coaches.

“We have spent a lot of time and effort in putting this together and are currently setting up committees to run PMB Collegians U6, U9, U10 to U12 and U13 to U18 programmes and teams,” said Jones. “It’s an exciting adventure for all of us.”

This admirable Collegians venture can only succeed if it has the capacity to develop a sustainable programme. If anyone would like to get involved in coaching, administration or sponsorship for the 2014 season, please contact Sean Jones at 081 345 3806 or go to the website for more information.

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