HomeSportRugbyChurchill hosts Old Mutual 7s Community Cup

Churchill hosts Old Mutual 7s Community Cup

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THE Old Mutual High-Density Schools Rugby Development Programme is expected to gather momentum, with over 200 emerging players from the previously non-traditional rugby playing schools expected to battle for honors in the National Old Mutual 7s Community Cup Tournament at Churchill High School today.

DANIEL NHAKANISO

The National Old Mutual 7s Community Cup Tournament will feature Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 provincial sides from Harare, Bulawayo, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West.

In a major boost for the growth of women’s rugby, a girls’ tournament featuring teams from the four provinces
will also run concurrently with the boys’ competition.

Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) director of rugby, Brighton Chivandire said the Old Mutual High-Density Schools Rugby Development Programme had gone a long way in transforming junior rugby development in the country.

“Before Old Mutual came on board to partner us in this initiative, most of the schools from the high-density areas only played soccer and did not have exposure to this level of competition,” he said.

“However, because of Old Mutual who have helped by providing funding for qualified coaches and other resources
such as playing kits and regular competitions, the sport has continued to grow in popularity at most of the
previously non-traditional rugby playing schools around the country.

“The Old Mutual High-Density Schools Rugby Development Programme will gradually see the narrowing of the gap between traditional rugby schools and their colleagues in high density areas. Ultimately, the winner will be Zimbabwe rugby, as this will widen the pool of players to select from for the respective national sides.”

The Old Mutual Community Cup, which is in its second year, is part of the financial services group Old Mutual’s broad sponsorship of schools rugby that covers development of teams in previously disadvantaged communities, as well as provincial and national select sides.

Thirty-six schools are participating in the programme, focused on providing skilled coaching, access to training
equipment and regular playing opportunities over an eight-month period.

This year’s Old Mutual Community Cup got underway in March with schools from the three centres in Harare, Chitungwiza and Bulawayo, taking part in interschool 7s rugby competitions.

Old Mutual also sponsored inter-community coaching clinics before the competition shifted to the XVs format where
the national finals of the Old Mutual Community XV Cup were held in August.

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