Rugby academy opens in PMB

2018-01-24 06:00
Academy Manager J.P Smit (left) receiving cheque for the amount of R 50 000 as sponsorship from Etienne Alberts of Everstar Industries in Pietermaritzburg.PHOTO: supplied

Academy Manager J.P Smit (left) receiving cheque for the amount of R 50 000 as sponsorship from Etienne Alberts of Everstar Industries in Pietermaritzburg.PHOTO: supplied

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AFTER seeing that no longer are there young rugby players coming through from Pietermariztburg, the Midlands Rugby Sub Union opened a rugby academy, the Sharks Academy Midlands.

The official launch was held at Woodburn Rugby Stadium on Monday.

Midlands Sub Union president Piet Herbst told Maritzburg Fever they decided to start the academy because they noticed that in the past five years no U20 rugby teams had come through from the Midlands.

“We don’t know what is happening to the youngsters after they finish matric. As a union we had to find a way of strengthening rugby in the Midlands. We then went to the Sharks with the idea and they fully supported it.

“We started raising funds and identified 10 previously disadvantaged boys from local schools and gave each one a R40 000 bursary to attend the academy. These boys played for locals schools, and also played for the Midlands under 17 development team,” he said.

Herbst said they were hoping to start the academy with 10 boys, however, they are pleased to say they will be starting with 23 boys.

“These youngsters will be doing coaching courses, first aid courses, referee level one courses and video analysis courses.

“We also encourage them to do long distance learning as they can’t go to university during the day because they will be in the gym.

“It is compulsory they get registered in long distance learning because you can’t play rugby for the rest of your life. We want them to get some qualification.”

They will play for the Midlands U20 team, which is run by the Midlands Sub Unit team.

The boys began training on Monday.

Herbst said although the academy mainly focuses on under 20 players, those over 20 are also welcome.

However, they will not play for the U20 team, but will be allowed to play for any Pietermaritzburg senior rugby club.

He said the academy manager JP Smit has met with Sharks coaches and they are willing to come to Pietemaritzburg and assist if need be.

Herbst said the window to join the academy is still open. Those interested must visit the website - www.sharksacademymidlands.co. za or email mrsu@xsinet.co.za or call Herbst on 083 232 4938.

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