Last Saturday celebrated the final day of the highly acclaimed under-9 Barbarian rugby tournament. A few of the key role players give us their thoughts on the day, and the series as a whole:
Jonathan Raphael, Sun Valley Primary Head Coach
The festival on Saturday was so successful. It was the first time each team had the opportunity to play against each other on the same day and it ran like clockwork. The day culminated with the Barbarian South vs Vusa North match. The Vusa North team was chosen from the Vusa Langa Rugby Academy and Primrose Rugby Club. The team from the South included two of the best players from each of the teams participating. The parents loved the facilitation process that saw kids from the different teams mixing and enjoying lunch together. The kids got so used to this over the course of the tournament that they looked forward to it.
It’s such a great initiative and tradition that we’ve started. It was great to work with MasiSports, Fish Hoek and Ukhanyo under the Barbarian banner. It was brilliant to share resources and to share ideas – a key moment in stepping towards a united valley.
The valley may be small but it’s quite dispersed in terms of its resources and its people and even its schools. Everyone came together and work towards one common goal: celebrating sport, enjoying each others’ company and building a unified Rainbow Nation.
Marvin Williams, Fish Hoek Primary Head Coach
The series was a great initiative and a resounding success – I felt so honoured to be a part of it. The whole idea behind the Barbarian series was to bring kids and communities together, to create a platform where we can get kids, coachers, teachers, parents, administrators engaging with each other to work towards building a Rainbow Nation. To have played a part in it has been amazing.
I think it’s safe to say we achieved what we set out to achieve, but this is just the beginning. I look forward to the future and what we can do, and working on more projects with MasiSports and other groups in the valley. I think this is the start of something great.
Teddy Nyali, Ukhanyo Primary Coach Coordinator
For Ukhanyo Primary this was a groundbreaking day. The parents loved seeing their kids play and they came en masse to support the side. To have one of our girls selected for the Barbarian South was a wonderful achievement.
Vince van der Bijl, MasiSports
The Barbarians are a rugby club which brings together players from different clubs to play a few matches each year to enjoy the camaraderie of the game and play attacking, adventurous rugby without the pressure of having to win. That is what MasiSports, Masicorp UK and the Barbarians managed to achieve in their under 9 rugby league in the South Peninsula, following on the Barbarian wonderful tradition.
It also showed the way of how to cross the historical divides that have strangled this magnificent country. The young showed the elders a new way of conversing, meeting, and befriending people from all backgrounds. They did that with energy, enjoyment, and ease, chatting together after the matches. The parents, staff, and coaches were spellbound.
The children not only saw the future, they were living it. We, the elders, need to follow suit.
Thank you, Barbarians. The under 9 players experienced true diversity and that wonderful feeling of being one nation.