Schools hailing from Vryheid, Paulpietersburg, Pongola, Newcastle, and the Ballito area all flocked to St Dominics Newcastle to participate in the school’s Rugby Clinic with rugby legends Frankie Horne and Phillip Snyman.
Discussing the day, Horne enthused, St Dominics Newcastle’s Head of Sport, Raymond van Niekerk, truly put on a respectable show to promote rugby development. “With 45 coaches and 90 youngsters, it is a good turnout and shows that people are hungry to develop their skills.”
Focusing on Sevens Rugby, Horne pointed out he and Snyman were thrilled to share their knowledge and experience with the young players while assisting coaches in upping their techniques.
Snyman added, as someone who comes from a small town, he was aware that not enough attention was always given to youngsters from these areas. Considering this, he said, “It is truly nice to give back to the community, sharing what we have learned and contributing to both rugby development and Curro rugby.”
The two-day event began on Friday, 23 April 2021, at Avalon Manor with Horne and Snyman giving a presentation, discussing Seven’s rugby at a school level, while answering a series of questions posed by enthusiastic coaches. The iconic Rugby duo also pointed out how coaches could improve their teams’ skills and gameplay, which ranged from the importance of passing to looking at the average activity cycle during a match.
Van Niekerk was elated about the turnout, as it resonated the desire from schools in Newcastle and surrounding areas to return to the rugby field. He said that the rugby clinic showcased that there was immense support being put into development within NKZN. “Also, after not being on the field for so long and being able to play, the clinic created motivation and a passion for the game again.”
Adding to the clinic’s activities, van Niekerk highlighted the Sharks rugby team has also introduced a programme that focused on players at a school level, ensuring their growth in rugby after school.
The reasoning for this, he said, was that too many players were lost after they left school, but through the new structure offered by Sharks, local players could participate in the infrastructure now being developed and enhance their skills, while allowing them the opportunity to look at pursuing rugby after school.
Following the coaching seminar at Avalon, the rugby clinic continued at St Dominics Newcastle on Saturday, 24 April 2021, with youngsters flocking to the event. Van Niekerk highlighted immense focus was placed on fundamental skills, thereby improving gameplay and players—taking the rugby sector to the next level.
With coaches and players absorbing a wealth of knowledge from the rugby stars, van Niekerk thanked all participants, as well as Frankie Horne and Phillip Snyman for their efforts, as well as Thirsti Water and Just Ice for their sponsorships.
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