The Springbok Women’s Sevens team and major team partner, Castle Free, on Thursday announced an exciting new joint venture to find the next ‘Imbokodo’ to join the national squad.
In what may be a first for women’s sport in South Africa, female athletes from all over the country will be invited to participate in country-wide trials, with a selected few invited to join the team at their base in Stellenbosch.
A full-time national contract and the chance to play at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens is a real possibility. These trials – and tribulations – will become part of a reality TV show to be broadcast over 13 episodes on SuperSport.
The aim of the show is to unearth new rugby sevens talent with the potential to represent South Africa on the international scene.
Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, thanked Castle Free for their willingness to partner in such an exciting new project.
“We want to expand the base of athletes who can play for our Springbok Women’s Sevens team, as they compete in tough international tournaments,” said Roux.
“This is an exciting way to highlight exposure for the team and hopefully attract the type of athletes we need to be winning events. It is a first for us and we are grateful that Castle Free and SuperSport for buying into the idea.”
The programme will kick off with specifically designed trials across the country where promising talent will be identified. These open days, where athletes will be put through a specifically designed test battery, will be held on weekends in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Durban. The best candidates will be invited to join the current squad at their home base at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.
Trials are scheduled for Cape Town on 10-11 August, Pretoria on 24-25 August and Bloemfontein on 31 August and Durban on 1 September. Athletes can state their interest by sending an email to email@example.com or download an application form from https://www.springboks.rugby/pages/imbokodo.
Vaughan Croeser, Castle Free’s brand director, said they are delighted to hold hands with SA Rugby in this venture.
“Castle Free is thrilled to be partnering with SA Rugby in presenting ‘Becoming Imbokodo’,” said Croeser.
“One of our brand’s core values is inclusivity, and by partnering with SA Rugby to create platforms for female rugby players to excel on the world stage we can play a significant role in creating a bright future for the women of our great nation.”
This exciting selection process is open to all South African-born female athletes older than 18.