Hlongwani says he hopes the 9th Edition of World Rugby Under-20 tournament will boost Zim’s image

Spread This News

SPORTS and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlogwane says he hopes that hosting the 9th Edition of World Rugby Under-20 tournament will help Zimbabwe to popularise and spread the embrace of the game beyond the urban enclave thus dissipating its elitist image.
Hlongwani said historically in Zimbabwe rugby was known to be an exclusive sport inaccessible to the majority of the country’s population.
The Sports minister said this while welcoming officials and players from Fiji, Hong Kong, Namibia, Samoa, the United State of America and Uruguay in Harare at the weekend.
The 9th Edition of World Rugby Under-20 tournaments will kick off on Tuesday at Harare Sports Club.
“Government is poignantly aware of the multifaceted positive knock-on effects a tournament of this magnitude can have on our national economy that can also cascade into other facets of our socio-economic milieu.
“Undoubtedly, hosting this festival of rugby gives sport in general and rugby in particular a good name locally and internationally.
“In essence, rugby has an important role to play as a cog to the nation-building project everywhere in the world that banishes racism, ethnicism, sexism and bigotry from the beautiful game of rugby on the field of play and terraces,” he said.
Hlongwani said players who take part in the tournament had an onerous task whose impact transcends the narrow confines of rugby.
He added that the tournament stood to help spruce up the image of Zimbabwe so that she would foreign tourists and investors alike.
Uruguay, Fiji, Samoa and Zimbabwe are in Pool A with USA, Namibia, Spain and Hong Kong are in Pool B.
Uruguay and Fiji square it up in the opening match on Tuesday.