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Spirits high at inaugural Barbarian rugby event

under-9 rugby festival

Ukhanyo hosted the first of six Friday Barbarian under-9 rugby afternoons last week. The desperately cold and rainy afternoon did nothing  dampen the spirts of the Sun Valley, Kronendal (Hout Bay), Paul Greyling and Ukhanyo under-9 teams, the spectators, and parents. In fact a rainbow was delivered to add to the celebration! It was a brilliant afternoon.

The renowned Barbarian rugby team would have been delighted with the positive approach and running rugby that was on show. The tackling was committed, skills impressive and above all it was a blast for all. The games were played hard and fair as  the referees and Cape Medical Response team will attest (three minor injuries were dealt with so professionally).

  • Opposing teams shook hands before the game, which is a new innovation suggested by life skills NGO Coolplay. It broke the ice so easily.
  • Individual food packs were distributed to each player as they headed off home, cold and happy!
  • Parents and families from all schools cheered from the side, chatted amongst each other and stayed right to the end, such was the enjoyment.
  • There were three girls playing in the Ukhanyo side. One of them was the best tackler on show! Gender equality and social cohesion are the strong drivers of MasiSports, and we hope more girls will join the events.

Jono Raphael, the head coach of Sun Valley Primary, shared a special message from one of his parents: “What an amazing school and event. I have never ever felt more welcomed like we were today.”

How the Barbarian FC Charitable Trust, which has sponsored this tournament, will rejoice at these words. This was a tribute to the four schools, and the atmosphere and camaraderie that was on show. The matches were unyielding, the tackling fierce, the slicing through gaps electric and it was played exactly like a Test match – yet after the game the opponents became friends. That was the best aspect of the day.

Project manager Ian Human has done a great job in co-ordinating schools from the South Peninsula and Hout Bay. The aim is to use these seven days of the Barbarian under-9 rugby festival to encourage interaction between local residents – so that by understanding each other personally, we can forge a better South Africa. The first event gave that purpose a wonderful start.

Thank you, the Barbarians, for making this possible. We do hope this will become an annual event. The Springbok rugby team has been a beacon for a better South Africa, embracing all citizens. This under-9 event can be the same in the South Peninsula.