Africa: NRU to Benefit From Rugby Africa Grants

9 December 2020

Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) chief executive officer, Theo Grunewald, says the financial grants that will soon be coming from the continental rugby governing body Rugby Africa will be used for various developmental projects.

NRU is among the four rugby unions in Southern Africa that got a nod to receive grants from Rugby Africa after it was announced that it would grant the euro equivalent of about US$336 000 (about N$5 million) ahead of the 2021 season.

Across Africa, 11 of the 39 unions on the continent will benefit from the grants. In Southern Africa, the beneficiaries are Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe after a challenging 2020 in which the new coronavirus put a halt to action for most of the year and depleted revenues.

The other African unions that will get a slice of the pie are Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tunisia, and Uganda.

Speaking New Era Sport yesterday, Grunewald confirmed that Namibia will be one of the recipients of the grants and added that the process is still in the pipeline and to be finalised.

"The process is still ongoing, indications show that we've been selected to be one of the recipients benefiting from Rugby Africa funds. Although we are yet to receive full information, there's an indication that we'll be receiving money from the continental rugby governing body," he said.

When asked what the money will be invested in when it's approved, the CEO said that the union is looking at using most of the amount in developmental programmes.

"Most of the funds we want to invest in high-performance programmes, like coaching clinics, preparations of players ahead of scheduled competitions and salary payment for players. We also have the women's rugby team that we have to take care of. We are also looking at development programmes at the school level, as we now have few programmes at school level in almost nine regions and we are hoping to reach all 14 regions next year," added Grunewald.

Announcing the grant late last week, Rugby Africa president Khaled Babbou said; "This is an exciting day for rugby on the continent. It clearly illustrates Rugby Africa's support for its unions.

We have been through extraordinary challenges this year and we must do everything possible to keep this much-loved sport alive and thriving in Africa. A much targeted approach has been taken to ensure funds are applied where they will have the greatest, immediate impact and highlights the attractiveness of Rugby Africa competitions."

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