Kotze among top women in African rugby

By Confidente Reporter

LOCAL women senior rugby fly-half  player, coach  and sports producer  at the  Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, Christel Janet Kotze was named among 12 leading women in rugby on the continent as Rugby Africa unveiled its list of 12 #Unstoppables who have been a beacon of inspiration to women in the game.

The social media campaign features 12 inspirational women and girls with ‘unstoppable’ qualities and will run over a period of three months, showcasing the diversity of the continent with ambassadors from Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Rugby Africa had called on all women in rugby across its member unions to share their inspiring stories to become one of the ‘Unstoppables’ in the campaign.

Over 60 women from 19 countries impressed the judges with their compelling stories of excellence, opportunity and inspiration.

Current data estimates that 26 percent of the rugby players in Africa are female. An area that needs special focus is the representation of female coaches and match officials as this is very low.

Khaled Babbou, president of Rugby Africa said, “We want to do something very impactful and sustainable for all women in rugby on the continent to get players, fans and sponsors interested in the game. Our goal is to uplift the Unstoppables and the women in rugby beyond this campaign. We have a long-term vision and commitment.

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“Africa is a big rugby market as the latest Nielsen report shows, conducted by World Rugby and one of the fastest growing markets in the world. It is such an untapped market in terms of athletic potential, growth opportunities and market penetration – especially for the women. As the individual stories of the campaign show, there are really strong women coming out of Africa.”

Paula Lanco, Rugby Africa executive member and chairperson of the Women’s Rugby Advisory Committee is excited to launch the Try And Stop Us campaign: “It has been great to see the success of the World Rugby campaign started globally in 2017, and to now feature the phase 2 our African “Unstoppables.

“From 2012 until 2018 there has been an immense growth in women’s rugby in Africa – from 50 000 to over 260 000 registered players and we have an ambitious strategy to grow women’s rugby by an additional 30 percent by 2025. It is especially critical in these challenging times to keep the players engaged. It’s now time to tell our own stories, in our own way, tapping into the diversity of our continent. A big thank you to all the inspiring African women in rugby who entered the #TryAndStopUs campaign.

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You are truly unstoppable,” said Lanco.
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Rugby Africa #Unstoppables:
Abigail Kawonza (Zimbabwe) – Board member, match official coach and referee, Babalwa Latsha (South Africa) – Springbok Women’s and international player, Christel Janet Kotze (Namibia) – Coach and TV producer, Donatienne Rasoampamonjy (Madagascar) – Coach, coach trainer and club founder, Fatma El-Kindiy (Botswana) – Communications and project manager, Ella Paule Guei (Côte d’Ivoire) – Referee, Fatou Camara Sene (Senegal) – Administrator and communications manager, Rafatu Inusah (Ghana) – Board member and educator, Peris Mukoko (Kenya) – Board member, educator and match official, Samiya Ayikoru (Uganda) – International player, Sanaa Barakat (Egypt) – Player and Wejdane Limame (Tunisia) – Citing commissioner and club president