By Mutsa Sibanda
Dudley Hall Primary School in Norton has become the first in the fishing town to receive its initiation in the growing oval ball sport of rugby.
The first Get into Rugby clinic conducted by the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) at Dudley Hall a fortnight ago produced a higher than anticipated turn out as Norton youths scrambled to cut their teeth into the game. Dudley Hall has the only rugby pitch in Norton.
The expectation is that Dudley Hall will represent Norton at competitions such as the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival which has run a primary schools category since last year. It will be the first time a school from Norton has participated, even in the long-running high schools division.
The day ended with the formation of the first-ever Norton Rugby Board which is expected to lay the way for the small Mash West town’s entry into Zimbabwe mainstream rugby.
It is all the work of Norton Sport Council Chairman John Muringani whose brainchild it was to integrate the long-excluded Mashonaland West outpost into the rugby family.
ZRU were represented by the development manager Sifiso Made, Zimbabwe Sables player Fortune Chipendo and Zimbabwe Under-18 assistant coach Cleopas Makotose.
Norton constituency House of Assembly representative, Temba Mliswa, himself a former professional rugby coach, attended in his official capacity but later put on his trainers to conduct a coaching clinic for the kids.
“It was a successful event,” Muringani recounted to Pachikoro.
“We highlighted the council vision of developing and promoting sports and recreation at grassroots level in line with the government policy on sport and recreation.”
Nineteen coaches from local schools were present and Made took the participants through the power-point rugby presentation where he highlighted the three models of rugby namely TRY, PLAY, and STAY.
“The aim of the game is to grow rugby globally by increasing the number of new players, coaches and referees,” Made told the participants.
He also mentioned the ZRU’s 2017 aim of girl child inclusion in rugby. He further highlighted and emphasized respect, integrity, passion, discipline, and solidarity as the five core values of the rugby game.
Participants were then divided into three groups comprising coaches, junior players and senior players who went through basic drills of rugby.
Mliswa spiced the session with his professional conduct of a training session and took the Lions Club for some basic drills that lasted an hour. He also had a chance to train the Dudley Hall Primary School rugby players.
According to Muringani, the provisional Norton Rugby Board comprises primary and secondary school teachers, rugby players and rugby enthusiasts.
“This board will oversee development of rugby in Norton under the close eye of the Norton Sports Council. To consolidate and sustain the efforts of the N.S.C. the 19 members of staff who participated will now meet every Saturday at Dudley Hall for practice,” he advised.
He added that ZRU had indicated their willingness to return to Norton for an advanced coaching clinic. The union also pledged to donate rugby kits to the two schools who participated.