Donor from Japan visits KRD
After coming across a social media post on the outstanding work done by Komani Rugby Development in Mlungisi, a Fiji-born rugby academy member, Bola Niumataiwalu, travelled to the town to donate rugby boots to the young aspiring professional rugby players.
Niumataiwalu, who now lives in Tokyo, Japan, travelled with his wife Louise, who grew up in Dordrecht, to finally have a oneon-one session with the young players at the Mlungisi Stadium this week.
Niumataiwalu, who runs a rugby academy in Tokyo, said: “What struck me the most is seeing the players without rugby boots on social media so I decided to send rugby balls and rugby cones for the children last year.
“I have been meaning to meet everyone and I could not come down on my previous trip. I am happy I finally came and met everyone. I hope this donation will help them play good rugby.”
He said rugby was more than just a sport as it helped build character and discipline.
“I would really like to help these boys. I want to see them go far in life and I want to see them play professional rugby in Japan. That is my goal. This is where SA rugby needs to start, at grassroot level because this is where development starts.”
Louise said it meant a lot for them to plough back. “I am not really into sports but to contribute towards a good cause where you’re from is exciting. It is good to be back and to see how things are going,” she said.
Grateful KRD founder Hlela Mbasane said he was happy to finally meet the man who had been supporting his team through social media.
“We want to maintain these good relations because we believe we can achieve more from this. As you may know, we have had challenges financially but we will continue pushing and we are hopeful for more sponsors,” Mbasane said.