Toti to transform for Oppi Beach festival

2014-03-18 00:00

THE Amanzimtoti beach will be transformed into one massive rugby and music festival over the coming Easter weekend.

Martin Nel, who has a passion for music, has decided — together with former Transvaal rugby player Jannie Pretorius — to launch the festival.

“Beach rugby is very big and popular overseas and we want to encourage rugby players from our local schools to enter for this new format, which is really very exciting,” said Nel.

There are entries available for teams from 16 primary and high schools and open teams consisting of ten players each. Only five players of each team will be on the field for each match that lasts 10 minutes.

“It is a very quick format of rugby and not to be confused with touch rugby because it still remains a contact sport.”

Nel says schools often find it difficult to grasp the concept of only having so few players on the sand. They, however, hope to attract about 300 players to participate.

“And once they like beach rugby they may be attracted to sevens rugby because it is just as quick,” said Nel.

Beach rugby tournaments are often played in countries such as Brazil. The organisers hope that South Africa’s love for rugby and the beaches will ensure that the concept succeeds here as well.

The playing field is 20 m by 30 m. For that reason it was decided to have the festival at the Amanzimtoti beach.

“The beach is big enough to accommodate three playing areas and the town always attract masses over the Easter weekend,” said Nel.

He said the Oppi Beach festival will — apart from the rugby and music — also cater with lots of entertainment for every family member.

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