Rugby girls top of game

Yolanda Zimba and Anathi Mkhiva have made history by being the first girls from Zimasa Community School in Langa, to represent The Western Province(WP) girls u/16 rugby team.

Coach Nosipho Poswa, also a former Springboks women’s rugby team player, couldn’t be more proud.

Poswa has been coaching at the school since 2014 and it is the first time two of her students are picked to represent the team.

In June, Zimba and Mkhiva spent a week in Johannesburg, playing in the Craven Week tournament, together with their u/18 provincial counterparts.

“The tournament went well and both teams played well. It also gave the kids more exposure,” said Poswa.

Rugby, being a male dominated sport, was not a deterrent for the girls and instead pushed them to be the best in the sport.

Mkhiva was also chosen to play for the Youth Training Centre u/16 team.

“I want to prove people wrong, and end the stereotype that rugby is a male sport. People have been very accepting of me playing rugby which is a good thing,” said Mkhiva.

Poswa says that a lot of people can be very critical and insulting by referring to the girls as ‘tomboys’ or saying that the sport will change them. However, she says she is not fazed by the remarks and encourages her players to be themselves and ignore any negativity.

“This sport is good because it educates people and changes people’s perceptions about rugby. A lot of parents are scared that it’s too rough, but a child can get hurt in any other sport, but more parents are opening up to it.

Even younger kids here at school are showing interest in the sports,” she said.

Poswa coaches kids from as young as seven-years old. She feels there are not enough coaches to assist her as she is also an educator and the school has no proper field for them to practice, making it harder for her to coach the kids.

Although the season is over, Zimba and Mkhiva are overjoyed and grateful for the opportunity and are looking forward to participating in the WP rugby trials next year.

Principal Fezile Mguqulwa said: “We are so happy and proud of our girls and all thanks to Miss Poswa for her hard work and dedication.

Even with all the limitations, she always makes us proud,” he said