PRE-SEASON IN FULL SWING AT THE BAY
The second month of the year is already upon us, time truly standing still for no one, rather appearing to pick up pace for all. Rugby clubs across the Peninsula are past the fitness training stage and are into contact sessions and on the verge of cropping their training groups to squad size.
At False Bay RFC, back in Constantia after a few weeks at Wynberg Military Base while their fields were being rehabilitated, Head Coach Gunner Hughes is no different to his counterparts in the Super League A.
Yet it is not all about the Men. The Bay Women’s team under Zoe Naude and assistant coach Ryan Henry, have been hard at work preparing for their upcoming season. Runners-up in last year’s inaugural Women’s Rugby league, practices have been attended by no less than forty players per season, with a fair sprinkling of new faces amongst the many players of 2022. Although the fixtures for the 2023 season are yet to be announced, Naude is preparing her teams for the friendly match programme which starts at the end of February. The prospect of taking to the pitch maintains player interest which is guaranteed to soar when the first whistle of the pre-season matches sounds.
As it is, appetites were whetted somewhat when the Bay Women participated at the Cape Town Tens tournament held in Sea Point over the weekend,
The success of coaches Naude and Henry’s efforts can be measured in part by the fact that twelve Bay Women were invited to Western Province fitness testing, an obvious indicator of their worth. “The majority of these players have been attending WP training at their High Performance Centre in Bellville”, says Naude proudly.
On the Men’s side of the Bay set-up, Hughes and his panel of coaches have been hard at work preparing the players for their season which features three friendly matches, including DurBell, Helderberg and Brackenfell, all of which have become standard pre-season friendly fare which double as a reliable yardstick of preparedness for the upcoming season.
Hughes, a wily coach and man-manager, is all too aware of the challenges ahead as he inherits a seasoned squad of successful campaigners threatened by retirements and enticements from other clubs in the Super League A. He is all too aware that bread needs to be put on the table, yet the complete experience of club rugby needs to be considered when choosing the changeroom in which to hang your kit.
It is this complete experience on which False Bay prides itself, and perhaps this is best communicated by False Bay’s new Club Captain, Adam Odendaal. “Rugby’s popularity can be attributed to its core values of teamwork and sportsmanship combined with the development of physical skills, but it creates a deep sense of belonging and has a way of bringing people together that few other sports are able to replicate. I'd like to encourage all those undecided about their participation in club rugby to take the leap and join the community. Joining the club rugby scene in Cape Town is a great opportunity to learn from experienced coaches and play alongside talented players who will challenge you to be the best version of yourself. You will make friends for life and be able to test your skills on the field. Don't miss out on this fantastic experience. I guarantee that you will make memories that will last a lifetime!”
Sage words indeed. Participation in this remarkable sport is self-rewarding. Wherever your rugby club may be, go out and make friends. For those that are beyond on-field participation, your role beckons. Choose a club which delivers what you want as a spectator.