James Van Der Westhuizen 0

Under 16 Regional Tournament & Under 16 Rugby in Namibia

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Excellent news! After consultation with Namibia Secondary Schools Rugby (NSSR) and the Namibia Schools Sport Union (NSSU), it has been agreed that an Under 16 Regional Tournament will be held this year. YES, we've managed to get Under 16 Tournament approved - the last week of August 2018.

Although the petition title has changed, much of the original content has either been retained or edited for ease of reference. The ongoing call is for dialogue into the introduction of mainstream Under 16 school rugby in Namibia.

Awaiting further confirmation from the NSSR and NSSU, further correspondence soon to be distributed.

At this time, allow me to congratulate all those boys who were Namibia squad and final team selections for the 2018 Grant Khomo Rugby Week which is being held in Kimberley, South Africa in early July.

The Original Appeal went out to:

ALL Namibian School Rugby administrators, school Principals or Headmasters, Team Coaches and Managers, Parents, Players and ALL those interested in the welfare of our schoolboy rugby players and the development of rugby in Namibia.

Why Under 16 Rugby ?

1. Namibia Secondary Schools Rugby accommodates Under 14, Under 15 and Under 19 rugby. Arguably, the Under 19 Namibia School Rugby Age-Band is not in line with World Rugby recommendations - http://playerwelfare.worldrugby.org/?documentid=116

2. The introduction of and Under 16 league would reduce the Under 19 core (15, 16, 17 18 and 19 years of age).

3. Namibia Rugby does not want to lose passionate rugby talent to alternative sports codes as a direct result of learners having to step up from an Under 15 league into an Under 19 league.

4. It falls in line with the International Rugby Union's Get into Rugby programme. "Milestones" in rugby development were widely publicized in 2014 and we believe that the "TRY" phase and "PLAY" phases were and are currently being developed. However, is Namibia Secondary School Rugby falling short on the "STAY" phase? Please refer to:

- https://www.namibian.com.na/index.php?id=114970&pa...

- https://www.facebook.com/NamibiaRugbyUnion/posts/1...

- https://economist.com.na/9465/sport/milestone-for-...

It is suggested that the following be tabled for discussion?

1. Amend the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) and Namibia Secondary School Rugby (NSSR) age-band determination from 01 July to 01 January in line with other IRB member unions, including our neighbouring rugby union, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and South African Schools Rugby, promoting:

-SARU Letter to School Principals/Headmasters February 2017. If not already being applied, this is what the Namibia Rugby Union should consider in respect of “Putting Players First”.


3. Player welfare should be of primary concern and ought to be thoroughly entrenched in any IRB member union constitution.

What is applied in South African Schools Rugby?

Under 14 = Players aged 12, 13, or 14, with these players turning 13, 14, and having turned 14 respectively during the year in question

Under 15 = Players aged 13, 14, or 15, with these players turning 14, 15, and having turned 15 respectively during the year in question

Under 16 = Players aged 14, 15, or 16, with these players turning 15, 16, and having turned 16 respectively during the year in question

Under 18 = Players aged 16, 17, or 18, these players turning 16, 17, 18, and having turned 18 respectively during the year in question

Under 19 = Players aged 16, 17, 18, or 19, these players turning 17, 18, 19, and having turned 19 respectively during the year in question

As with the South African Schools Rugby league, is Namibia able to accommodate an Under 16 league in the foreseeable future? YES!

In considering the content of this petition, let us not disregard World Rugby's Player Welfare “Putting Players First” policy. In the best interest of our secondary school learners and general Namibian rugby development, the appeal goes out to ALL interested parties to join the call to have the Namibia Rugby Union, Namibia Schools Sport Union or Namibia Secondary Schools Rugby create the platform for all parties to enter into dialogue with the aim of being regarded as a pro-active IRB member union and amending the secondary school rugby league make-up to accommodate Under 16 school rugby.

If you are in support of the Under 16 regional tournament and dialogue into the introduction of an additional Under 16 secondary school rugby league in Namibia, please support the petition.

Thank you

James Van Der Westhuizen

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