The first edition of the West Coast Schools rugby festival will take place on Saturday March 5, with hosts Milnerton High school, Parklands College, Elkanah House, Melkbosstrand High school, Bosmansdam and Edgemead locking horns.
Milnerton coach Heinrich Martins said the idea of the school’s festival was born when he and Parklands College’s Darin Viljoen had a conversation about rugby and sports in general.
Martin said they proceeded to contact the other schools in the area, who overwhelmingly showed an interest in the event.
The rest, as they say, is history and Martin said the festival will be a fun-filled event rather than a competitive one.
The day -long festival will start at 9am and Martin said they expected the spectators and the players to enjoy every moment on the day.
“There will be no knock-out stages as each team will be offered two matches during the course of the day also to give coaches an opportunity to have a good look at the capability of their respective players,” he said.
“The medium to long term goal is that we want to strengthen bridges between schools in our area and ultimately work with each other to become a stronger region when it comes to rugby in the Western Province,” he added.
He said the plan was to provide the players with opportunities to be more involved in playing which will, hopefully, see them attending trials.
“The main idea, then, is to foster great relationships and ultimately the profile of rugby and make it stronger.
“We all agreed that can only happen if we become stronger collectively. The day will also give coaches an opportunity to share ideas with each other in terms of getting their teams more prepared for the upcoming league campaign.
“We do have a Springbok rugby player that came from this region and we are looking forward to producing the next Damien de Allende.
“It is our duty to see to it that that dream becomes a reality,” said Martin.
Martin said he was confident they would produce those Springboks as they, as coaches, come up with the right expertise and loads of experience, saying he, for instance, was De Allende’s high school coach.
He also noted that the process of preparing for the festival proved to be an interesting journey for the schools involved, their players and coaches.
“We want to keep our rugby talent right here and this is the beginning. It was a privilege to be part of his journey and tournaments like this help ensure that we keep the rugby talent in the area,” he said.
Looking ahead, Martin said they wanted to make this an annual pre-season festival with each school getting a chance to be hosts. Everyone is welcome and the cover charge is R10 a person and R10 a car. There will be food and drinks on sale.