Former Springbok rugby player Thando Manana has taken on a new challenge in the game after being elected as president of the Madibaz Rugby Club.
As excited as he is about the opportunity, the 41-year-old rugby fanatic has no doubt that there are some tough times ahead after the premier team was relegated to the Varsity Shield.
Reflecting on Madibaz rugby, Manana said the quality of the coaches was one of the key elements in ensuring success.
“It is vitally important to run Madibaz as a professional team, rather than an amateur approach.
“In addition to the coaching aspect, we need to attract the top Eastern Cape schools players to Mandela University.
“This goes hand in hand with getting business people to invest in the club so we can offer bursaries to promising young players.”
Manana said his initial focus would be on making the complex issues simple.
“The simpler we can make it, the easier it will be to get everyone involved to do their jobs properly.
“The quality of coaching, the physical preparation of our players and nutrition are of paramount importance in our bid to get back to Varsity Cup.
“The key values will revolve around the student community, a family environment and bringing back the pride.”
Madibaz Rugby manager Theresa le Roux said they were delighted with Manana’s willingness to step into the position.
“A well-known public figure, Thando has invaluable experience in the rugby world and we believe this is a perfect union as we enter a new era of Madibaz Rugby,” she said.
“I am positive he can take the club to new heights.”