Eastern Province Rugby’s Port Elizabeth Sub Union has launched a new rugby tournament for clubs in and around the Northern Areas as a response to the current wave of violent gang activity that is sweeping through the area.
The tournament, which will be known as the Super 14, will see 14 rugby clubs play against each other in a single round, starting this weekend at the Adcock Stadium and concluding at the end of March.
“We chose the Northern Areas deliberately to showcase the brilliant sporting talent that comes from this area, despite all the violence that has featured so prominently in the media recently,” said PE Sub Union Chairman, Stag Mitchell.
“We believe that sport can bring communities together and, through this tournament, we are extending a hand to the Northern Areas community to show them that there are other options to youngsters, other than this violence,” he said. “At the same time we are also showing the rest of Port Elizabeth that there is more to the Northern Areas than gangs and violence.”
Mitchell said the tournament would kick off with a family day of rugby at the Adcock Stadium, with the first match between Booysens Pride and Young Collegians kicking off at 1pm.
“This tournament is also a tribute to the players who have come before and who have gone on to make a success from their rugby careers, the likes of Desmond Booysen from Arcadia, the best wing to ever don the SARU jersey, Desmond Kramer from Gelvandale, who became the ultimate Springbok warrior and SARU powerhouse, Peter Slabbert, EP and SARU captain from Windvogel Rugby Club and Harold Wilson, former president of both EP and SARU and honorary vice president of EP, from the Shauderville community,” he said.
Mitchell said the tournament was geared at renewing the passion for rugby in the area.
“This tournament will showcase the clubs from these communities and hopefully act as a catalyst to guide our sons back to sport and away from other influences, we therefore appeal to the community to come out in support of this tournament and enjoy the rugby with our players.”
The clubs participating in the competition are:
African Bombers, St Marks, Suburban, Gelvan Wallabies, Missionvale, Kwaru, Glen Roses
PE Harlequins, Parks, Booysen Pride, Young Collegians, Motherwell, Zwide and Helenvale