Saturday, May 28, 2022

Botswana Rugby Union appoints Development Officer

The Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) has reappointed Zilwele Khumalo as its Development Officer.
The position has been vacant for the past seven months after Khumalo quit in August last year to take up a job in his native Zimbabwe; he is employed on a three year contract.

Speaking in an interview, BRU President Bob Lekan said the appointment of the Development Officer shows his Union’s intent to help the sport of rugby move forward. “He brings in a lot of experience into this job. He has previously worked with the BRU in the same capacity as our Development Officer and has established a good foundation for rugby development in the country,” Lekan explained.

Khumalo, who started working with BRU from 1997 up until he quit his post last year is credited with pioneering the development of school rugby in the country. According to the BRU, ever since taking over back then until he quit, Khumalo had seen an exponential growth of school rugby, from five schools back then to 115 by the time he left.

‘Zee,’ as Khumalo is affectionately known in the local rugby circles, quit the BRU last year to take a position with the Zimbabwe Rugby Union where he worked as the union’s Training and Development Manager.

Lekan said the reappointment of Khumalo will greatly benefit the BRU in its endeavors to further develop the sport.

“We are of the belief that the experience he gained during his short stint at the Zimbabwe Rugby Union will greatly benefit us. As you may be aware, the ZRU is much more developed than us and they have better programs and we believe this puts Khumalo in a good position to implement new ideas for rugby development in the country,” Lekan said.

He added that with the foundation for development firmly laid, what the union needed was someone who could drive it to new heights and Khumalo fitted the bill.

Meanwhile, Lekan said the BRU is still on the hunt for a qualified individual to take over the position of High Performance Coach with the union. According to the BRU President, while the union had hoped to have the High Performance Coach as early as month, April, things have not gone accordingly.

“Of the few applications we got, none had the needed coaching qualifications to take over the job. Our intention is to find a properly qualified person who can help our coaches and athletes and we are hopeful we will get the person as early as May,” Lekan explained.

He said should it be necessary, the BRU will even look outside the boarders of Botswana to head hunt for a candidate to fill the vacant position. He said once the suitable candidate has been found, the person, together with the Development Officer will be expected to liaise with the International Rugby Board (IRB) to finalise plans for Rugby development in Botswana.

“We have already been in negotiations with the IRB to help us draw plans for the development of athletes and coaches in the country. However, due to the fact that we did not have the personnel to drive this forward. Once the High Performance Coach has been hired, we expect him and the Development Officer to liaise with the IRB to draw up the plans and for them to drive them forward and to see to it that the BRU meets its mandate of developing Rugby sport in Botswana,” Lekan said.

On other issues, the BRU Rugby A-Division league resumed yesterday with a match between BDF Cheetahs and league debutants Mochudi Rugby Club. The five teams’ league will continue today (Sunday) with a match between Black Rhinos and EMC Gunners while Gaborone Hogs will not be in action this weekend.

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