“We need sponsors to develop rugby in places outside cities. I am saying this because it is difficult for young people who live outside cities”
The euphoria around the victory at the Rugby World Cup has captured the hearts and minds of women, men and most importantly children, some of who may have never held a rugby ball in their hands.
Again there is an opportunity to take advantage of the overwhelming spirit that the nation has embraced, and to inject real energy into the development of the sport throughout the country and not just in pockets.
If there are no rugby fields, coaches and structures in all parts of the country, then those young girls and boys, who have witnessed their parents celebrate the victory, will be lost to the system of rugby.
The South African Rugby Union (Saru) and others who can make a difference must listen to World Cup winning winger Makazole Mapimpi.
“We need sponsors to develop rugby in places outside cities. I am saying this because it is difficult for young people who live outside cities. There is talent out there, all we need is to have proper systems in place to unearth it.
“It’s tough playing rugby in East London because even the Border Bulldogs (an East London rugby team) have got no sponsors,” Mapimpi said.
The challenge to Saru is to harness the spirit of this victory and to give as many children as possible the opportunity to one day represent their country.
Rugby will be the real winner.