Friday, December 3, 2021

Women’s rugby academy in the offing

A desire to see Women Rugby grow in Botswana has forced one passionate Gorata Kgathi to come up with ways to see her aspiration to build a Ladies Rugby academy in Botswana come close to fruition.

The academy is part of the former Gaborone Hogs Women and Botswana Ladies national team player’s plan to leave a legacy that many generations of aspiring women rugby players will benefit from.

Kgathi wants the academy to come with all components that will develop players to reach their full potential. The Bobonong born Kgathi is the founder of Savage Women’s Rugby Club. It was formed to fulfill her desire to see women playing and administering sport in a conducive environment.

She also wants to see more women play rugby in numbers like their male counterparts. Kgathi who describe herself as a goal getter in her academy wants to have different ladies age groups so that there can be pool of players across ages. “I want to have acquired land in three years. I am seriously working on that and it is promising,” she explained.

Kgathi has credited her commitment and leadership skills to her late coach at Hogs, Mark Wilson, who she said: ‘used to tell me that I am focused and destined for greater things as far as rugby is concerned.’

Due to Wilson’s motivation, Kgathi said she grew to become a captain as she gained confidence and her leadership skills developed. “I formed the team because I want to do what Wilson has done to me and others,” she said.

The Savage Girls founder said her academy will target out of school players between the ages of 16 and 24 ‘to give them a sense of purpose and survival skills in this world of uncertainties.’ “I also help the ladies by encouraging and finding schools for them and other opportunities.” Her initiative has already gained support of the Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) which she said ‘is supporting her to reach her goals.’

During the lockdown “I found Women Win – a company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. They assist women sport across the world. I wrote to them and after eligibility checks they deposited Euros 5000 (P65 000)” she said. The monies were used to buy the team a mini bus, kit and other technical equipment. Women Win’s main objective is to advance the right of girls and women through sport and empower women and protect their rights.

Kgathi is currently doing Advanced Sport Management Course (ASMC) under Botswana National Olympic Committee. She is the first and only World Rugby certified female coach in Botswana to hold a Level II coaching course. She added that she was always the only woman during the coaching courses she attended. “I was not even intimidated, for me the sky is the limit.” Her efforts are now a source of inspiration for upcoming women as more and more are enrolling in coaching.

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