The CPUT Rugby Team recently held successful trials to boost itself ahead of next year’s Varsity Shield tournament.
Following its success at the recent University Sports South Africa Games (USSA), the team has for the first time qualified for the Varsity Shield.
The team will play in the tournament from February after it won two of its three matches during the USSA 2016 at the East London Campus of Walter Sisulu University.
The team beat Vaal University of Technology and the University of Zululand, while they finished as runners- up against the host university.
“Our team includes a variety of other players from the Boland Kavaliers, Border Rugby and the Golden Lions, which placed us as one of the biggest contenders for the vacant spot in the Shield Cup,” says Team Manager, Theo Ngqwala.
The dynamic team benefitted from the exploits of the South African Schools Under-18 capped player, Akhona Sihunu, a Sports Management student.
Ngqwala says that despite lacking a dedicated sponsorship for the rugby team, the sport’s popularity is on the rise on CPUT campuses.
“Initially, we used to book a 22-seater midi-bus to take our team to matches but now we carry 120 players and fans to our matches,” he says.
“For example, we have managed to organise and field female students in developing a ladies’ side, and two of them have already been selected for the Western Province Women’s Team.”
He thanks the Department of Student Development’s Loki Manise and Bulelani Mlakalaka for their unwavering support to the team as well as HG Travel, Score, CPUT Convocation President, Bheki Hadebe for donations.