… As Gold Cup baptism of fire continues, amid financial struggles
By John Tuerijama
KHOMASDAL-BASED Western Suburbs Rugby Club (RC) is braced for a fierce battle, on Saturday in Cape Town, when the Gold Cup Group D minnows take on DirectAxis False Bay.
The competition first-timers lost their opening match to Go Nutz College Rovers (Sharks) by 42-24 in Khomasdal, while their second match last Saturday, also at home, ended in a narrow 26-29 loss to IMT Sishen (Griquas).
The Gold Cup features clubs from South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, competing in a World Cup-style format.
The semi-finals are scheduled to take place on 22 October, while the third and fourth playoff and the final are slated for 29 October.
In an interview with Confidente this week, Western Suburbs chairperson, James Camm, said they have not received any financial assistance from the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) or from their official sponsor, FNB Namibia, to help them compete in the tournament. “It’s financially very difficult, but we want to thank the organisers of the South African Gold Cup, who have paid for our travelling costs, accommodation and playing gear,” he said. Camm said further that the competition has placed a severe financial burden on the club, as it has to widen its home turf by 20 metres in length and breadth, in order to be 100 percent compliant with South African standards. “We have spent N$45 000 for the upkeep and upgrading of our sports field. We are still waiting on the NRU and FNB Namibia to let us know about possible financial assistance, after our meetings with them.” Asked about the payment of the club’s players, Camm said that they have spent N$285 000 since July last year on remuneration and other costs. “I urge the business community to play a role in supporting the clubs. We must take hands to develop our rugby clubs, because we are the ones footing the bill for the NRU’s domestic premier league, with our players and our individual sponsors. The NRU has for the past three to four years never sourced any sponsor, and it’s time that they start doing this. It’s extremely ridiculous that we have to source sponsors, in order to keep the domestic league alive,” Camm said. Turning his attention to Saturday’s battle against DirectAxis False Bay, Camm said that he is extremely satisfied with the fitness levels of the players, and that the Gold Cup is going to improve their performances during the upcoming local rugby season next year. “We initially had one injury, when our fullback Ricardo Swartz picked up one, but we are now glad that he is featuring in the upcoming match in Cape Town. He is one player who has really improved a lot, and the fitness issue is imperative, because players need to have the body strength and fitness to play a bigger role against more established teams from South Africa,” Camm said. “We have learned a lot and the players are picking up the necessary experience, I must also acknowledge the unwavering support of some former Springbok players, who assisted us during the preparatory phase.” Camm said that their objective next season is to take the premier league crown away from the University of Namibia (Unam) Rugby Club, as Suburbs had ended as the runners-up during the 2017 season. “We are expecting a great improvement and will utilise the experience picked up in the Gold Cup to our advantage. Our goal is to win the premier league and ensure our participation in the 2018 Gold Cup. That is our target for next year,” said Camm. The chairperson conceded that they will not qualify for the playoffs of the Gold Cup, but he is confident of doing better next year, if they win the local premier league.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015