Shakawe Rugby Cub Teams Off To Good Start!

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Both the Shakawe Rugby Club’s women’s and men’s teams have been on a winning trajectory in the Botswana Rugby League over the past few weeks. The Under 22 (U22) Men’s teams were this past weekend awarded 5 points and 28 goals after a no show by Jaguars, in a match that was supposed to take place in Maun.

This was after the Women’s emerged triumphant the previous weekend with a resounding 29-0 victory against Botho Ryders.

The men’s U22 reserves had travelled all the way from Shakawe, only for Jaguars – based in Gaborone, not to show up, for their scheduled first match up of the season.

Malebogo Matlhare, the coach of the Shakawe Rugby Club stated, “We were prepared to face the Jaguars but they notified us that they could not make it here. My team and I have travelled a long way and must make our way back soon.”

Feddious Mutenheri, the Jaguars Rugby team manger stated, “Unfortunately we could not come and ended up forfeiting because of lack of finances.”

Matlhare, expressed pride in his team’s performance, stating, “We performed well as a start and we hope that we can continue growing.”

The women’s rugby league, featuring 10 players per side, kicked off the league in April and is set to conclude in August, running parallel to the men’s league, which consists of 15 players per side. Osi Kopano, the secretary of the Botswana Rugby Union, commended the league’s progress, acknowledging minor disruptions due to holidays but expressed confidence that the schedule will normalize over time.

Highlighting the broader significance of the league, Kopano revealed the leagues role in talent recruitment for Botswana’s representation in future international competitions, including the upcoming African Rugby games in Morocco at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, in the northern region, the Shakawe Rugby Club demonstrated a stellar start to their campaign, securing a commanding 29-0 victory in their inaugural match against Botho Ryders. Coach Matlhare exuded confidence in his team’s preparedness for the challenges ahead, emphasizing months of rigorous training since February.

Founded in 2019, the Shakawe Rugby Club was born from a vision to cultivate a supportive environment for young women, imparting values of education, independence, and community engagement.

Coach Olebanye outlined the club’s inclusive approach, nurturing talent from grassroots levels, including students from Popagano CJSS, to train them then after some time places promising young talent in the senior team, as well as community members displaying a passion for the sport.

Despite their achievements, the club operates on self-sponsorship, with funds for equipment and training primarily sourced from the coach’s personal finances. However, Matlhare appeals to the public to offer sponsorship to bolster the team’s endeavors in the future.

Currently, the team remains focused and spirited in their training regimen, setting their sights on delivering a stellar performance in the upcoming tournament this weekend, for their male Team while The Womens team plays in Palapye in two weeks’ time. With each match, the Shakawe Women’s Rugby Club not only aims for victory on the field but also strives to empower and inspire the next generation of female athletes in Botswana.

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