South Africa using reality TV show to boost women’s sevens squad

By Machuki Sundaa

South Africa Rugby has embarked on a campaign to revamp the its women’s sevens squad by holding country-wide trials for the first time.

In partnership with Castle Free and SuperSport, the body has invited athletes to designated venues around the country in a bid to boost the playing ranks. The trials are to be held in Cape Town (10-11 August), Pretoria (24-25), Bloemfontein (31 August) and Durban (1 September).

A full-time contract with the women’s Blitzbokke squad and a chance to help them qualify for the HSBC World Sevens Series will be the reward for successful candidates.

The programme will comprise of specifically designed physical challenges with the event being packaged as a reality TV Show dubbed Becoming Imbokodo featuring 13 episodes that will be aired on SuperSport.

On its website, South Africa Rugby quoted an excited CEO Jurie Roux as saying: “We want to expand the base of athletes who can play for our Springbok women’s sevens team, as they compete in tough international tournaments.

“This is an exciting way to highlight exposure for the team and hopefully attract the type of athletes we need to be winning events. It is a first for us and we are grateful that Castle Free and SuperSport for buying into the idea.”

Speaking to South Africa Rugby, Castle Free’s brand director Vaughan Croeser said he was happy to part of the venture.

Said Croeser: “Castle Free is thrilled to be partnering with SARU Rugby in presenting Becoming Imbokodo. One of our brand’s core values in inclusivity, and by partnering with SA Rugby to create platforms for female rugby players to excel on the world stage we can play a significant role in creating a bright future for the women of our great nation.”

The opportunity is open to South Africa-born women aged 18 years or older with successful athletes invited to link up with the main squad in camp at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.

Main photo credit: Twitter

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