Community Cup ‘could stimulate dying club rugby culture’
The newly launched Cell C Community Cup could stimulate a dying club rugby culture, especially in the townships, African Bombers captain Luzuko Panya has said.
“There are many players who do not have access to the system or have been bypassed and this is an opportunity for them to get noticed and play,” Panya said.
“They can get up from home and contribute to the game positively and stay within the black clubs of their choice instead of migrating to the white clubs for more opportunities to shine and get noticed.”
Panya, whose club was a wildcard entry into the 20-team competition, said the communities in which clubs are based will have a big role to play in the competition because of the number of players that will be sourced from the various communities.
“The communities that we come from will put pressure on us to develop ourselves and progress in life and not just focus on rugby,” Panya said.
“They will be watching us and the eyes will be on us as players as to how we conduct ourselves and how we contribute towards the communities.”
Implats Rugby Club coach Kennedy Tsimba said the competition can help bridge a generational gap and help with mentorship as well as provide a platform for players who did not go to the mainstream rugby schools.
“I’ve seen guys that are older than me play club rugby and some youngsters that have come through from schools that did not have any rugby,” Tsimba said.
“When I was at a union and as seniors we were very separated from the juniors and we hardly ever saw them. In club rugby, there is a culture where everyone is intertwined and at our club, we get to mix,” he said.