Durban - The Sharks have announced that they will play three first round Currie Cup matches in the township communities of Clermont, Umlazi and
“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,” the
Sharks commented via a press release on Friday.
Commenting on this ground-breaking development, Sharks CEO,
John Smit said: “The opportunity to take a 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
“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, stated: “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 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, April 8: Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, Clermont - Sharks XV v Boland Cavaliers (19:00)
Saturday, April 23: King Zwelithini Stadium, Umlazi - Sharks
XV v Namibia (15:00)
Friday, May 20: Princess Magogo Stadium, Kwa-Mashu - Sharks
XV v Golden Lions (19:00)