The man behind NMMU Women’s Rugby Team

rugby ball
Image Courtesy of Gilbert Rugby Balls

They say, “Behind every great man, there is a great woman.” However, it is sometimes the converse which is true. Let us consider the NMMU Women’s Rugby team for a moment: who is the man responsible for training and coaching these ladies?

Tembelani Sibuta is a sports management student from King Williams Town. He says that from a young age he was very active and he enjoyed playing games and engaging in a variety of sports, including soccer, cricket and rugby. His love for sport began in primary school and the journey still continues at NMMU. He joined South Point Rugby at NMMU in 2012, and by 2013 he was the coach for The Pointers. He is currently playing for NMMU’s 1st reserves and 1st team sides in the Grand Challenge League where he plays either at Scrumhalf or Flyhalf.

He revealed that when the he was approached by the Eastern Province Club to coach the NMMU Women’s Rugby Team, he was keen because he wanted to gain more experience. He had received his Boksmart and his Level 1 for coaching in 2014, which qualified him to be a coach.

Sibuta believes that rugby is a suitable sport for women and it goes to show that you don’t have to have a masculine build to play physical sports. He acknowledged that coaching a female rugby team is different from coaching a male’s rugby team, because males are used to physical contact on the field and he is teaching the ladies how to make physical contact. In the same breath, because most of the ladies are playing rugby for the first time, it’s easier for the ladies to imitate and to grasp what is being taught during training. Furthermore, he encourages more ladies to join the women’s rugby team.

Written by Celuzuze Mabaso



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