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The spirit of rugby in its truest form, the veterans game, is celebrated with the Sangora National Golden Oldies rugby festival starting today at False Bay RFC in Constantia.


“Golden Oldies”, “Veterans”, “Crocks” or “Ouman” (Old man) rugby as it is known, was the brainchild of Villager RFC stalwart, the late Fred Dieterle. The first tournament between 16 teams was held in 1983 and later in that year, the SA National Golden Oldies Rugby Association (SANGORA) was established.


It is rugby with the same values, increased camaraderie, reduced pace and permanent talent which never leaves the bodies of these over-35 year old lovers of the game. The game in its essence remains the same with some modifications to accommodate the advanced age of the participants. Out-of-hand kicking, for instance, is taboo, ensuring the ball stays in hand. Scrums take place, but are uncontested, allowing an attacking platform for surprisingly fast backline players to flash the skills that they had honed through their years.


By its nature, Golden Oldies Rugby is rugby for the family and this three-day tournament is geared to keep the attending enthusiast entertained. Food vendors, jumping castles, bars and music, with popular radio station, Heart FM broadcasting their drive show from 3 to 6 pm on Friday, make the event one of all round entertainment.


Thirty teams from around the country will be participating. Sixteen from outside of the Western Cape, the rest from within, making up a truly national representation. It’s the mix of local teams which is of interest with teams from the following rugby clubs participating: Goodwood, Kleinmond, Cities, Elsies River, Durbanville-Bellville (x2), False Bay (x2), Tygerberg, NTK, Retreat, Spine Road Old Boys, Hands & Hearts, and Droogtehulp.


A highlight with a difference of the tournament is the Womens Rugby League game between False Bay RFC and Brackenfell RFC on Saturday afternoon. This exciting, rapidly-developing segment of the game in South Africa is gaining popularity across the board and Saturday’s contest is an ideal platform for all to see just why the game in this format is growing exponentially. The rivalry between these two clubs is intense, despite just three years of existence, all of which adds spice to the occasion.


The SANGORA Golden Oldies Festival taking place at False Bay RFC from today until Saturday promises to be bucket-loads of fun. Entry fee is R20 with proceedings starting at 2pm on Thursday (22 September). A portion of proceeds will be given to Miracle Kidz.

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