Rugby club faces closure
MTUBATUBA Rugby Club is facing severe financial challenges, the most recent of which has seen electricity shut off, resulting in the forced cancellation of matches.
The main cause of dwindling finances is drastically reduced membership numbers.
Many supporters are unwilling to attend matches as the number of unsavoury characters using the club’s grounds as a local drinking hole has scared people off.
‘When we arrange functions at the club we hire Inyala Security to provide guards for the evening, but on normal match days or even practice days during the week, there is no one to keep these youngsters who are drinking, off the premises,’ said club committee member Alan Harrison.
Then there is the added problem of glass beer bottles being dumped on the field and at the spectator stands.
‘On every practice day the players have to clean the field so they can train, but still get cut by the broken glass,’ said player/coach Nhlanhla Ndlela.
The majority of the club players are unemployed and unable to afford membership fees or even rugby kit.
Those players who can afford it, often help out the players who have nothing, but to be kitted out in something better than hand-me-downs would help boost player morale.
‘The players have an excellent team spirit and friendships with each other both on and off the field, but they do tend to get despondent when they are constantly cleaning up this mess before being able to practice.’
The club has appealed to the municipality for help, whether in subsidies or providing security or cleaning staff, but to no avail.
First and foremost, the club must pay its electricity bill of R16 000 to get the lights switched back on.
An urgent committee meeting was held to discuss a way forward and the committee is planning fund-raising events.
Assistance for the players is also needed, both towards their kit and travel costs for away games.
‘Our players are so dedicated that they walk from their homes in KwaMsane to the club for practices and matches, but it’s the away games that they need help in getting to,’ concluded Ndlela.
‘We would like to appeal to businesses and individuals who are willing and able to sponsor or donate to the club,’ said Harrison.
‘We are also calling on the community to join us, sign up for membership and help us uplift Mtubatuba Rugby Club to its former glory.’
Anyone wanting more information can contact club Treasurer Rita Meyers on 081 4833659 (SMS during office hours).
Donations can be deposited into the club’s bank account: Mtubatuba Rugby Club, First National Bank, account number: 53090046394, branch code: 220330.
Mtuba Rugby Club is on the brink of closure amid financial woes