Springboks lend a hand in Queenstown

22 October 2013

The South African Rugby Union’s Footprint Programme paid a second visit to the Eastern Cape last week to deliver the latest rugby coaching techniques and skills to schoolboys and coaches.

Springboks Francois Hougaard, Flip van der Merwe, Jan Serfontein and Bjorn Basson coached more than 170 schoolboys and 50 school and club coaches during a coaching session in Queenstown.

They were assisted by Springbok assistant coaches, Johann van Graan, Ricardo Loubscher and John McFarland.

Mastering basic techniques

The Springboks demonstrated to the local coaches how to master basic technical techniques in areas, such as tackling, scrumming, lineout play and the breakdown.

In July, the Footprint Programme paid its first visit to the Eastern Cape in Mthatha at the behest of the Eastern Cape Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

The Eastern Cape Sports Department is also assisting the South African Rugby Union (Saru) to prepare the Springbok Women’s Sevens squad to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. The assistance includes scientific support, fitness and conditioning training.

Rassie Erasmus, Saru’s general manager for high performance, got the two-day symposium underway when he addressed the eager local schools and club coaches on the proper tackling and breakdown techniques.

Demonstrated

During the practical session, the Springbok players and coaching staff demonstrated those techniques to the learners and coaches at a community field, with a happy local crowd following every move on the field.

Afterwards, lock Flip van der Merwe said he and his teammates enjoyed the session as much as the schoolboys and the coaches.

“This is a great initiative and it is wonderful to see eagerness amongst the kids and their coaches to learn.

“We seldom get the chance to visit areas such as Queenstown, and the reception we got from the local community and kids was amazing,” he said.

SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby