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How Zimbabwe plans to bridge the gap between men’s and women’s rugby

The Zimbabwe Rugby Union has taken the period of inactivity due to the moratorium imposed on all sports as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown to revamp its structures and come up with a raft of policies to grow the game of rugby and spread it to the previously marginalised areas and stakeholders.

Some of the raft of measures taken and approved are that there is an urgent need to reduce the gap between the men’s and women’s game by bridging the difference that exists between the two. To bridge the gap the Union will with immediate introduce compulsory mentoring programs whereby all Senior Men’s Teams must have a woman sitting on its first team’s technical bench either as the assistant coach or an understudy of the head coach.

The management team for all women’s teams must with immediate effect have at least two women in influential decision making positions. To ensure that the women in these positions aren’t just figureheads without the technical grounding the Union resolved to develop capacity within the women’s ranks by ensuring that for all training and education programs, women will have a reserved quota of places for them across all the programs delivered by the World Rugby educators across all strands. To top it all , given that all registered provincial teams have women’s teams, plans are at an advanced stage to introduce the Women’s Super Six League in 2021.

With the appointment of the high performance team coaches, the ZRU is finalizing the contracts for the engagement of twenty women to be on contract with the Union. The women will be the nucleus of the national women’s Sables and Cheetahs teams. As they play they will assume guardianship roles for the upcoming talented players in the schools in their communities and they will be used as vehicles for change in the perception of women in the community and the fight against social injustices against women.

Story Courtesy/Rugby Africa

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