BRU introduces rugby to deaf students

Kabelo Dipholo
INSPIRED: Students ready to play

Through their new outreach programme ‘Get into rugby’, Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) invaded the Francistown Centre for the Deaf last week, putting the young students through their paces.

BRU’s Development Manager, Ziwele Khumalo told Voice Sport the programme’s aim is to revive rugby locally and also plant a seed in some of the marginalised groups in the country.

“When it comes to sports, people living with disability are unfortunately often sidelined. Someone who’s lost their hearing ability can be as good as anyone in sports. As BRU, our intention is to see these people playing rugby,” explained Khumalo in an exclusive interview.

On Wednesday and Thursday, BRU conducted a workshop for the teachers at the school to teach them the basics of the game.

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“Friday was a day for the teachers to coach the kids in a mini-Festival,” he said.

Khumalo stressed that the kids played tag rugby, as they are not yet ready for full contact.

In total, seven male and 22 female teachers attended the workshop, while 47 male and 38 female students were introduced to the sport for the very first time.

BRU introduces rugby to deaf students

The Development Manager said Francistown was their pilot project, and they set their eyes on other schools around the country.

“I’m currently trying to get in touch with SA Rugby to benchmark on how they’ve managed to take the sport to people living with disability,” he revealed.

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Khumalo said while it’s a challenge to coach people with a hearing impairment, it is can be done, as is the case with South Africa.

“We want to see these kids competing against each other. We donated balls to the school to ensure the program will carry on,” he said, adding on their next visit to Ghetto, they will conduct World Coaching Children course for Teachers to ensure they are fully empowered.

“Some of the teachers have showed great enthusiasm, and these are the individuals we should invest in to help us take this programme forward,” concluded Khumalo.

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