THE NORTHERN Cape SAPS women’s rugby team put their best foot forward on day two of the National Police Rugby Week, currently under way at Tafel Lager Park.
With little time to prepare, the side was able to walk away with an emphatic 34-0 victory over the far more experienced Gauteng women’s team yesterday morning.
However, it was not the outcome of the game that truly mattered to the 22 women who took to the field in Griqua colours yesterday, but rather the example that they set for women across the Province who want to enter the male-dominated world of rugby.
Northern Cape captain, Shirley Adams, said that the team was blazing the trail for the women’s game in the Province, adding that their limited preparation had already started bearing fruit.
“I’m passionate about my sport which is why I got involved in rugby in the first place,” said the front-ranker. “We are allowed to represent the police in two separate sporting codes, so I also enjoy my cricket. However, I would play more if I could.”
The team could not have asked for a better debut at the SAPS Rugby Week as they humbled their Gauteng counterparts in their first ever match, cruising home comfortably.
“We only heard two weeks ago that the Northern Cape police were looking at fielding their first ever women’s team at this tournament, leaving us very little time to prepare,” said Adams.
“Despite limited time and training, we managed to win our first game comfortably this morning so we are definitely on the right track.”
Adams added that the tournament had been a wonderful experience for the women, who are hoping that this would be the first of many outings for them.
“As this is the first time that we have been involved, this is all new to us but we are glad to be opening the door for other women to show what they can do on the rugby field.”
Following yesterday’s victory, spokesperson for the SAPS in the Northern Cape, Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, said that sport, and rugby in particular, played a key role in ensuring that law enforcement officials are able to serve and protect to the best of their abilities.
He added that the physicality of contact sport was particularly beneficial.
“As police officers, playing rugby will assist tremendously in ensuring that we are in peak condition,” he said yesterday. “Sport does not only keep our members physically fit but it also keeps them mentally sharp, which is crucial when performing their regular duties.
“The physicality of contact sports, like rugby, better prepares the police, women in particular, to serve the public as it improves confidence, physical fitness and mental agility.”
The provincial MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Pauline Williams, yesterday commended the Northern Cape women’s team for their performance in their maiden rugby competition, pledging her unwavering support for them and all the provincial teams in action during the SAPS and SANDF Rugby Weeks
“I am particularly proud that we have a women’s team competing for the first time,” said the MEC.
“Ladies, please do not be intimidated by more established teams because in me you have your biggest fan.
“You came here with fresh enthusiasm and, again, nothing more is expected from you than to give your very best.”