Story by Vimbai Shure
When we think of Rugby, we often think of large , muscled men, barreling down muddy fields, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake! Not for the faint of heart, Rugby is thought of as an aggressive contact sport that is largely the domain of the male species however, a group of young women at Africa University are making bold strides in the sport. Playing their first official game on Saturday the 12th of February against the Mutare Spartans, the ladies wowed winning 12-0 .
I interviewed the captain Rukudzo Stacey Tadiwa Mutambanadzo who is a second year Social Work student as well as a sub- warden , and she shared with us how the journey has been so far .
Q: Let’s talk about some of the greatest challenge(s) you faced in bringing the team together?
A: The greatest challenge l faced is that of finding committed individuals . People have the assumption that Rugby is a very dangerous sport . Of course there is intense aggression but every sport has injuries that do happen. Another thing is that some girls are too embarrassed or too shy to play the sport and some believe that rugby is for men. I am here to break that bias. Women can play any sport out there and it is high time we stopped thinking otherwise.
Q: If you were to describe your first game in only 3 words what would they be?
A: Intense, aggressive and thrilling.
Q: For your next game which we are all excited to see, what are some of the things you intend to do differently?
A: We did play some games the previous semester where we were admittedly still quite fearsome of our competition and not very solid in what we had to offer as a team. This semester, we have come back stronger, more focused, fit and determined. During our last match, what I am happy about is we showed that we learnt from our previous mistakes and were willing to think outside of the box which resulted in a win. We are here for the competition and to prove ourselves as ladies of distinction on the field.
Q: What goals have you set for your team and what vison do you have for your teammates?
A: My goal is that we have more games to time to practise and improve and to also be able to play and dominate the other women’s teams in Manicaland.
My vision is for my players to get recognized and to be picked for the Manicaland women’s rugby team and eventually make it into the national team to represent Zimbabwe.
Be on the lookout for more ladies Rugby fixtures and turn out to support our team!
Africa University Women’s Rugby Squad 2023
Rukudzo Stacey Tadiwa Mutambanadzo (Captian), Paidamoyo Gwenzi ,Trish Ngwarai, Chelsea Sara, Ropafadzo Simango ,Tadiwa Chakamhara ,Munashe Magombo , Fiwuka Bethuel Phillip ,Rudairo Kamudyariwa ,Sangiwa Mpofu,Victoria Janda