Women’s rugby growing in Grootfontein

By Michael Uugwanga

THE town of Grootfontein is slowly but surely becoming the home of women rugby in the country, thanks to Janus Oosthuizen who continues to call for female rugby players to come to the town despite the sport still being portrayed as a man’s game, not only in Namibia but in most African countries.

Grootfontein women rugby club was only formed this year by Gabriella Jahs with seven players, and today the club has 25 players even though most of the girls find it hard to turn up for training due to other commitments  such as work and school.

Coach of Grootfontein women rugby club, Oosthuizen explained the importance of rugby, not only to the town but countrywide.

Rugby is not just a sport for men and women can do so much more. I would like to encourage young girls and women all over Namibia to consider rugby in the future. I would like to motivate all rugby clubs in the country to start a women’s team for us to have a future in this amazing sport.

“Namibia has talented players let’s give them the opportunity to shine. The importance of having a female rugby club is to motivate young girls and women to be part of something amazing, to be part of a family.

“This can create a future for women and we believe in women empowerment and this here shows that women can do anything. Rugby has a way of bringing different people together and that is all we need in a time like this,” he said.

Currently, the Namibian Rugby Union (NRU) is hard at work in an attempt to revive the women’s game which was last played competitively in 2014, however this is expected to improve as other towns such as Rehoboth, Okahandja, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Windhoek now also have women rugby teams.

Oosthuizen said his team will be a force to be reckoned with once a female league is set up by the NRU in the near future.

“We are a team that just started this year and the women are already on the right path. So I see Grootfontein women’s rugby club on the top of the league in a few years time because we have enough time to prepare and to learn all the basics and with women that want to become better anything is possible.

On 25 September we are going to play our first 15-aside game in Rehoboth,” he said.

The founder of Grootfontein women rugby club, Jahs said the reason why she decided to form a women rugby club in the town is because she has a passion for rugby.

“I started this team because I always had a passion for rugby, I always wanted to be part of the team but there were always just men’s rugby in Grootfontein. I have been always in attendance at the men’s training … that is when I was told that if I can get lots of girls, I can as well start a women’s team and without a doubt I started searching and posting on Facebook and Instagram until I found girls that wanted to play and here we are today the first women’s team in Grootfontein ever. This feels amazing to be part of history.”

Grootfontein is also home to one of the country’s top men rugby side that competes in the Namibia Rugby Premier League (NRPL).