Former Springbok Thando Manana has been elected as the president of Madibaz Rugby Club and is excited about the opportunity to contribute to the university.
Having played three Tests on the flank for South Africa, the 41-year-old rugby fanatic has a wealth of experience he can bring to the varsity club management.
He takes over at a time the premier team have been relegated to the Varsity Shield competition and he says hard work lies ahead to restore them as the leading rugby institution in the Eastern Cape.
“I believe it is essential for every member of the club to know their role and I want the club rugby family to impart the values I live by,” said Manana.
“These include hard work, honesty, a sense of empathy, faith, self-reliance, respect for other people and kindness.”
He felt that a strong coaching team and the ability to attract talented Eastern Cape schools players to the varsity were key elements in their planning.
“This goes hand in hand with getting business people to invest in the club so we can offer bursaries to promising young players, as well as scouts willing to scour the region to find the talent we can transform into being the pride of Madibaz rugby.”
Manana said his first three months in the position would be focused on making the complex issues simple.
“The simpler we can make it, the easier it will be to get everyone involved to do their jobs properly.
“I believe a new playing style should be one of the things we look into and this vision should filter down to women’s rugby, the Res league and the Young Guns.”
He added that their focus would be on ensuring the Madibaz jersey “became great again”.
“We want to reach a situation where everybody on campus wears the Madibaz jumper on Friday in the build-up to our Varsity Shield games.”
Madibaz Rugby manager Theresa le Roux said they were delighted with Manana’s willingness to step into the position, feeling his standing in the sport would have significant benefits for the club.
She added that Manana would be responsible for some of the strategic functions of Madibaz Rugby Club.
“He will also assist in building relationships with EP Rugby, clubs and various other stakeholders in the rugby fraternity,” she added.