Woodburn to host Friendship Games

2014-04-03 00:00

WOODBURN Rugby Stadium will be a hive of activity on Saturday when the Midlands Rugby Sub Union hosts the annual Friendship Games.

The games, which were first held in 2002, will feature 18 previously disadvantaged teams from across the country.

The competition was first organised by the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Veterans as a way for them to put something back into the game of rugby, said Friendship Games convenor Doug Hoskins, who is also the vice president of the Midlands Rugby Sub Union and sits on the executive board of the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union (KZNRU).

“Some of the teams that will be here are Raiders from Johannesburg, Westbank from Boland, four teams from Zululand and another four from northern KZN,” Hoskins told The Witness yesterday.

The best performing team on the day will be rewarded with kit, and there will also be an award at the end of the day for the team that displays the best discipline.

The prizes have been provided by the sponsors, which include Stihl, the Department of Sport and Recreation, Clover and the South African Rugby Union (Saru).

Apart from Saru which came on board eight years ago, Hoskins said the other sponsors had been with them since the beginning in 2002.

“It’s amazing how many people want to put something back into the game,” he said.

Among the dignitaries who will be present at Woodburn Stadium on Saturday will be Saru president Oregan Hoskins (Doug Hoskins’s brother), KZNRU president Graham McKenzie, Saru’s media manager Yusuf Jackson and Msunduzi mayor Chris Ndlela.

Hoskins said they also expected a couple of Sharks players to be in attendance on the day, but he said a large number would unfortunately not be available as they would be attending Anton Bresler’s wedding on the same day.

“The games are about respect. That’s why we call them the Friendship Games,” Hoskins told The Witness.

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