Women’s rugby will get a chance to shine when NMMU host the University Sport South Africa (USSA) sevens tournament in September.
The Port Elizabeth based university hosted the men’s tournament in the past and Melissa Awu, former rugby manager at the university, said this would be a chance for women to grow the sport.
“We are paving the way for something that has not been done by women,” she said, referring to the fact that the tournament will be hosted largely by women.
Awu, who joined the university in 2015 when women’s rugby was in its “infancy”, said the tournament would assist with growing and developing the code.
In addition to growing the sport, Awu said the tournament also served as an opportunity for greater student body.
She said five students were involved in the local organising committee and that through opportunities such as these they hoped to empower them to become leaders.
“Our students have so much potential and we wanted to provide them with an opportunity to explore talents they might not have thought they had.
After last year’s event, hosted at Tshwane University of Technology, Awu put forward a bid to the national body to stage the sixth edition of the event.
Once the Madibaz were able to meet all the requirements set out by the executive of USSA Rugby it was decided to nullify original plans that saw the tournament returning to KwaZulu-Natal, where it had been hosted in the past.
Tournament director Richard Janse van Rensburg said applicants had to present their bid a year in advance, followed by a site tour to ensure the facilities were up to standard.
Awu, who is also the development officer for USSA Rugby, felt it was a milestone for women’s rugby at the university and she was looking forward to managing this project on behalf of Madibaz rugby.