By Carlos Kambaekwa
They might not be playing with boots glued to their tiny feet but hundreds of aspiring youngsters will go flat out to impress the national selectors when the 14th edition of the Annual Sanlam National Primary Schools Rugby Trials get underway in earnest at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek this morning.
The National Primary Schools Rugby is to hold trials for the Under-13 age groups – aimed at selecting a provisional squad of 44 players for the annual Craven Week Rugby Tournament in Paarl, Cape Town in the first week of June this year.
Six regions will compete in the two-day trials and the provisional squad will have a week-long intensive training camp during the long weekend in May, 2008 before the squad is trimmed down to a manageable 22 players, ahead of Namibia-A team’s participation in the annual Craven Week.
The Central region will be represented by two segments, namely Khomas and Auas, whilst Welwitschia, North, Hardap and Karas complete the lineup.
Sanlam Namibia for the umpteenth time came to the rescue of youth rugby when it unveiled a handsome sponsorship of N$20,000 towards the staging of the trials at a special media function in the capital yesterday.
Sanlam Namibia Communication and Marketing Consultant, Angrid van Rensburg, outlined the company’s progressive social responsibility programme aimed at benefiting the Namibian society and said one of the key focuses is the area of sport development programmes and projects.
“Through the provision of financial resources Sanlam Namibia has made a substantial contribution to the development of schools rugby in our country.
It therefore remains the conviction of Sanlam Namibia that with our involvement in this particular sport at primary school level, rugby will take its rightful place on the sporting calendar of all communities in the future.”
Van Rensburg further believes that sport, in whatever form, develops character and characteristics such as loyalty, co-operation, camaraderie, teamwork, punctuality and above all, self-discipline.
“As far as our long term goals regarding these primary schools rugby trials are concerned, Sanlam Namibia wishes to ensure that the game of rugby is popularized, admired and embraced by all the different segments of our community. We do not only commit ourselves to our bold motto “Thinking Ahead”, we are also committed to living it daily through our involvement in projects like these that has the potential to shape the future of all Namibians.”