News / Africa

Rugby Comes to South Sudan

The SSBL Warriors in red and the Shalina Sharks compete in the first-ever rugby match in South Sudan over the weekend of March 9-10, 2013.(VOA/Mugume Davis)
The SSBL Warriors in red and the Shalina Sharks compete in the first-ever rugby match in South Sudan over the weekend of March 9-10, 2013.(VOA/Mugume Davis)
TEXT SIZE - +
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
— A week after the announcement that South Sudan is to have a soccer academy, championed by former Portuguese international Luis Figo, the world's newest nation tried its hand at another European game: rugby.

Hundreds of Juba residents turned out to watch a rugby match that pitted the “SSBL Warriors”, sponsored by South Sudan's first brewery, South Sudan Beverages Limited, against the “Shalina Sharks”, which is backed by Shalina Pharmaceuticals.

The Warriors won the match, 30-15, but fans and players said that what mattered more than the numbers on the scoreboard was that South Sudan has made a foray into rugby and that money was raised for children in need.

"I don’t even know what the score was," said Louis Peters of South Africa, who played for the Warriors and happens to be the commercial head of South Sudan Beverages Limited. 

"I know that we won, but that’s not the point of this. It’s not so much about winning than it’s about having a good time, playing sports and getting lots of money for charity.”

The match raised several hundred US dollars for the charity Confident Children out of Conflict (CCC). CCC needs at least $400 per year to care for one child, and hopes to raise several hundred thousand dollars through various events, including more rugby matches, the charity's Cathy Groenendijk said.

The game also brought a ray of sunshine into the lives of children in need, said Groenendijk.

"These kids they have grown up in the slums, on the streets...It’s great for them to know  that all the people who are here are interested in their welfare and in their future," she said.

The South Sudanese are blessed with very good genes... They are very big people, very athletic, and they are very aggressive. And you need all of those to be good at rugby.

As for the future of rugby in South Sudan, it, too, is looking bright..

"This is just the beginning of the game in this country," said Kennedy Lodiong, who played for the winning SSBL Warriors.

"In future, we are forming a South Sudanese team whereby it will be full of South Sudanese only," he said.

When that happens, the rest of the rugby world will have to watch out, said Peters, whose native South African side has twice won the Rugby World Cup, in 1995 and in 2007.

“The South Sudanese are blessed with very good genes," said Peters.

"They are very big people, very athletic, and they are very aggressive. And you need all of those to be good at rugby," he said.

There is a berth for another African team, besides South Africa, which ranks second in the world in rugby, at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. It's too late for South Sudan to qualify for that competition -- but a South Sudanese side could vie for a place at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid