Zim rugby must do more - Situma

HARARE - Rugby Africa’s development officer Eric Situma expressed mixed emotions about the state of rugby in Zimbabwe during his four-day visit to the southern African nation that concluded yesterday.

Whilst disheartened by Zimbabwe rugby’s continued loss of talent to foreign countries and what he termed “inconsistent staff retention” Situma was generally impressed by the development structures.

The decorated coach was in the country inspecting progress made by Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) in developing the sport through the World Rugby’s Get into Rugby initiative.

The former Kenya national rugby team full-back said Zimbabwe’s administration prowess is held in high esteem across Africa.

“Zimbabwe is well respected in Africa for their administration of the game and I am happy with their strategies.

“This shows that they are in the right direction in managing the game,” said Situma.

“However, I am here to fulfil Rugby Afrique’s mandate of monitoring the Get Into Rugby programme which they are implementing for World Rugby. Zimbabwe rugby receives an annual grant from World Rugby.

“My mission is just to follow up to find out how that money is being managed and if it is being channelled in the right direction.

“Largely I’m happy I have moved around, talked to staff, seen some projects but I’m still to look at the books and records.

“We are looking at ways of improving strategies of managing the programme here.

“High school rugby in Zimbabwe has been very strong traditionally.

“The club setup, I think, is what we have not discussed at length with Zimbabwe rugby.

“That tends to be the window that many players are lost. They are many solutions that can be borrowed around the globe, we have not had that discussion with Zimbabwe rugby but I’m guessing it’s at the back of their minds.

“The major problem I noticed was staff retention, because the union really struggled with consistency especially on reporting.

“What we identified is that the project managers have kept changing over time so that is what we want to address so there is consistency in the Union’s operations.”

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