Cape Times

Popular views amaze as rugby in township schools has always been represente­d

- Gugulethu

IN JANUARY 1968, I registered as a student at Fezeka Secondary School. The main sports were rugby, netball and athletics. Everybody was encouraged to participat­e. I recall that in rugby, our school had meticulous players.

They were so good that if they had opportunit­ies at provincial and national levels, they would excel. Our main rival was Langa High School. Our school players even participat­ed in local teams and excelled. In 1971, Fezeka Secondary School became a high school and continued to play rugby against Langa.

Wednesday was always a sports day. I always wonder when some people think that rugby was never a township sport. In the 1960s and 1970s, national teams such as Leopards and Proteas excelled in rugby. Unfortunat­ely, because of the Separate Amenities Act, our teams were never given Springbok accreditat­ion, though there was a lot of talent.

I remember very well the John McBride British Lions tour in the 1970s; they were never beaten and only one team managed to score a try against them – the Leopards from South African townships. It always pains me as a rugby fan to hear people saying rugby was never a township sport.

This is misinforma­tion. Let us support the Springboks and wish that they bring that coveted Cup home. Transforma­tion and merit selection are challenges facing our Springboks. In the townships, schools rugby and sport generally must be resuscitat­ed. Zolile Sogiba

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