Border Rugby Union has turned the corner in all the areas that have been identified as cause for concern. Monde Tabata Border Administrator; announced in the media briefing today at the Buffalo City Stadium. He said; “After he had been assigned by SARU and Border Executives to stabilise the situation at the Union, he is happy to inform the rugby community and other stakeholders that the problems with the creditors and the financial cruch have been resolved.” He further announced that the SARU Finance Administration department has assumed the oversight role in the finance management. “Most debts have been settled and I am working hard towards ensuring that all major debts where servicing schedule had been agreed, are also cleared.” He also managed to facilitate the exit of the equity partner Russet Trading.
In 2014, Border was able to meet all SARU obligations of fielding Border representative teams in all sponsored and sanctioned tournaments, such as Vodacom Cup, Under 19 and 21 as well as the Currie Cup fixtures.
He disclosed his satisfaction regarding the Vodacom Cup preparation, saying “the team had preparations equivalent to that of any provincial team in the country”. The team started on time with the off-season and pre-season training. Players were contracted on time. The conditioning and nutrition of players has be taken care of by the professional conditioning coach.
There also has been a change in the coaching staff. Elliot Fana And David Dobela were announced as the new Co-Coaches for the season. Monde Tabata indicated that both coaches have vast experience local and national, having worked for various Unions. Denzil van Heerden has been retained as the Conditioning coach, with Chumani Booi serving again as an Assistant coach.
Border has also established a relationship with the SARU high performance centre led by Rassie Erasmas. Jaques Nienaber will be visiting the Border Rugby Union to provide assistance to the coaches. Border Technical Analyst has been sent for training at the SARU high performance in Cape Town to be acquainted with the latest technology to assist Border in order to increase the competitive ability of the Bulldogs in 2015.
Monde Tabata said “Border will never be the same!”. Border will not be at the bottom of the table in 2015. He challenged the team to be competitive and finish mid table. “To reach the broader public of the Border region the Vodacom Cup home matches will be played in East London, Mthatha and Alice respectively. The main idea behind this is to ensure that, players are exposed to the length and breadth of the Border Kei region.”
“Dumisani Mhani Border General manager has been tasked to lead the team towards identifying and developing rugby players from the tender age of 13year to senior amateur level. This is to upskill local players and ensure we retain the talent within the province, as we have seen a large exodus of players to other unions from the age of 16 years.”
Monde emphasized that; “We need to retain the good players within the system and so that the public can identify with these players from an early age.” People have been appointed to identify these young talent. A relationship with the schools committee has also been revived, mainly to ensure a systematic approach towards talent identification and development.”
Border Rugby will also focus on recruiting and training of referees. There is a national outcry with regards to the shortage of match officials in the country. Sindile Mayende has been appointed to ensure that we have a substantial number of qualified and fit referees. This is because Border is the largest rugby playing region in the country.
Monde indicated that his job as an administrator has been made easier by the Border Executives and staff members, who have been cooperative in the transition.
Summary Compile By Akhona Mgijima