UFH Baby Blues in France for Rugby 7s Contest
On 30th March 2019, the Fort Hare Ladies Rugby popularly known as ‘UFH Baby Blues’, jetted off to France to participate in the Ovalyonne Sevens Tournament. Over the years, the team has made remarkable progress producing players for both the provincial and national teams for USSA and senior Springbok National Teams. For the twelve-member team and three university officials, this is not only about promoting the brand and reputation of the university, internationally, but also about a life changing experience as many in the team were going abroad for the first time.
On arrival, the team was warmly received by Universite’ De Lyon (UDL). As part of this lifetime experience and hospitality, they visited sites of interest and were introduced to the provincial team - LOU Matmut. The team has in its squad South African players such as Deon Fourie and Hendrick Roodt.
On 1 April, the team attended a welcome function where all teams from four countries (France, Spain, SA and England) were welcomed and given an opportunity to present on why they were interested to attend the tournament. Miss Mihlali Rodolo, our Sports Officer responsible for rugby, spoke on behalf of the UFH Baby Blues detailing the history of Fort Hare Rugby more particularly that of Baby Blues. She boasted abput the provincial and national success that the team has enjoyed. This includes accolades such as being Border Provincial Club Champions, Score Easter Tournament in Cape Town and representing in USSAs.
Having to acclimatise to the extremely cold and raining weather, on the 3rd April, it was back to business with their first game against Universite' Clermont from France, UFH lost the game by 38-0. Sadly, one of our star players, Asisipho Plaatjies got a knock on the head in the first few minutes of the game. She was rushed to hospital for concussion examination. She is recovering well at the moment.
The UFH Baby Blues bounced back in their second game against ESU (Exobiology Summer University) from France winning 34-0. The third game was against Univesite' de Lyon 2nd team and UFH won 38-0. These games secured a quarter final spot for them and will take on the University of Valencia from Spain on 4 April.
Rugby Seven is an Olympic Sport since the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Women’s Rugby has seen exponential growth in its membership, clubs and college teams. Women’s Rugby has historical ties to college practice and many young women discover rugby during their studies. Lyon’s College Rugby is a stronghold in French Rugby, for men and women. Rugby Seven creates spaces where friendliness and sharing are key. It also represents a symbol of college rugby with a mix of sun, music and celebrations.
As the university of Fort Hare, we are proud of the achievements of our teams and this tournament will go down the memory lane as one of the best preparations for international rugby our women have received. We look forward to them advancing to the finals of the tournament ‘LUMA KE BLUES’
Team Players: Asavela Sigodi ( Captain); Lusanda Dumke ( Vice Captain); Sivuyiseko Makhomazi; Daviro Watyoka; andiswa Mbilase; Asisipho Plaatjies; Zanele Touto; Vanessa Tlotlo; Kgomotso Ntswadi; Zandile Khumalo; Nomathemba Nanambane; Ayabonga Jezile,Ntyatyambo Mkhafu (Coach), Langa Lakhe (Assistant Coach),Mihlali Rodolo and Brisco Matiwane (Sports Officers)