The Sharks are proud to announce that in partnership with Durban Tourism, we will be embarking on a township tour during the months of April and May, which sees us, for the very first time, play three Currie Cup Round one matches, in the communities of Clermont, Umlazi and Kwa-Mashu. For many residents in these communities, the matches will provide them with their first opportunity to witness a live rugby match being played at their doorstep. It is with this realisation, and also our commitment to taking rugby to our people, that we are delighted that our combined vision is now becoming a reality.
Commenting on this ground-breaking development, The Sharks CEO, John Smit says: ‘The opportunity to take a Cell C Sharks team on a township tour is something that we had long envisaged and the fact that this is now a reality makes me incredibly excited. Our valued partnership with Durban Tourism has paved the way for this tour, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their aligned vision, eagerness and commitment to grow the game amongst our communities. We trust that people in these areas as well as our fans travelling from outside those communities, embrace these fixtures and it is a memorable rugby occasion for everyone involved. Our ultimate hope is to visit different communities each year, with this tour becoming an annual event on our calendar, added Smit.’ Ethekweni Mayor James Nxumalo says: ‘Sport is a universal language understood by all. I believe it is one of the most effective ways to build a united and socially cohesive City, as people of different colours and creeds are able to stand together in support of one team-it is nation building at its best. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure that the popular and well supported Cell C Sharks Rugby team will for the first time play three matches in the township and in our community stadiums. This is history unfolding and I am delighted to be part of it. It is the first time in the long and illustrious history of The Sharks that this is being done and we hope that this will not be the last. I urge you all to go out and support these township games.’
This tour is not just about the main match, but it is also about engaging with the local communities and more especially the kids, through a series of coaching sessions and games, which ties in with The Sharks Field of Dreams initiative, launched in 2015. Field of Dreams is a social transformation and rugby development initiative that aims to improve the lives of the youth in our province, through the game of rugby. The project has a strong focus on the local schools in our province.
The tour fixtures are as follows:
Friday, 8th April
Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium,
Sharks XV vs Boland Cavaliers
King Zwelithini Stadium,
Sharks XV vs Namibia
Friday, 20th May
Princess Magogo Stadium,
Sharks XV vs Lions
There are many exciting activations planned in these areas in the lead-up to the matches, as well as on match day, to ensure that the rugby spirit and the fun associated with the game is experienced by all. Entry to these matches is free of charge.
Photo credit: Nick Lourens