Bhubesi Pride, a British development through sport initiative, recently came to Gaborone over the course of three training days in Botswana. Bhubesi Pride brought together more than 160 young students from Botlhale Cambridge International School and from Old Naledi, an underprivileged community.
Bhubesi’s aim is to drive social change, education and development through rugby in Africa. Together the young players not only played rugby, but also learned about the game’s values.
Member of the Bhubesi Kristina Koch told the voice sport that through rugby they intend to unite, inspire and empower the communities they work with.
“Our wish is to see these Private school and Old Naledi kids playing together until we come back, because not only will they be learning the sport but also values of discipline, respect, tolerance, integrity, passion and solidarity”, she outlined.
Koch added that they are working with local teachers and coaches, educating them so that they can keep teaching the children.
The daily rugby sessions also sparked the interest of Vincent Seretse, Acting Minister for Youth, Sport and Culture, who came to Wharic field to address the young players.
“Thank you Bhubesi Pride and everybody involved for putting this event together and giving so many children the opportunity to play this great game. There is so much energy in the air and I look forward to seeing how much progress the children will be making until Bhubesi Pride come to visit us again next year!” said the minister.
Not only was the Minister part of the avid Botswana rugby community, but also the Botswana Rugby 7s U18 national team who recently took part in the African Youth Games and the Zebras.
According to the BRU’s President Elijah Jones development of rugby in Botswana remains their top priority, and for them to realize it, can only be through grass roots development.
He revealed that though rugby is not a popular sport in the country it continues to grow and this is made possible by them getting kids interested. “The kids have really enjoyed themselves, more so that they are willing to learn and be like the senior vultures. With kids from Old Naledi having no facilities to train at, we bring them here every Saturday mornings to engage with qualified national coaches”, noted Jones.
The BRU President added that they involved an English medium school so that the kids can interact and realize that they are all equal despite the fact that some do not have the same opportunities.
To complement Bhubesi’s rugby coaching, learners further received health and safety skills training from Bhubesi sponsor, G4S. “It makes sense for us to partner with the Bhubesi team and share the material and knowledge that we have developed internally with the youth of the communities we serve.
We are very passionate about sport and we are very positive that we will upraise stars regardless of how challenged they are in terms of facilities” stated Gwendolen Harry, the G4S office manager.
Land Rover and DHL Botswana were also on site to shower the children with give aways and joined the excitement on the pitch.