Kgalalelo Mokhutshwane Aims to Grow Rugby in Rural Communities

Mmabatho Rugby Club secretary and player, Kgalalelo Mokhutshwane, is aiming to inspire women and young girls in rural areas to get involved in rugby. Photo: Supplied

Mmabatho Rugby Club secretary and player, Kgalalelo Mokhutshwane, is aiming to inspire women and young girls in rural areas to get involved in rugby.

The North West University Psychology graduate, says her greatest ambition is to see the growth of the sport in Mahikeng as many community members are not fully aware of other sporting codes as football continues to dominate.

As board member at Mmabatho, Mokhutshwane, is responsible in keeping their management up to date with all the leagues and reporting any other information that comes from their union – Leopards Rugby Union.

Currently, the club does not receive any funding or have training fields of their own and have to ask surrounding schools to use their training venues.

Mokhutshwane hopes the situation changes soon as they embark on their journey to grow the sport.

Speaking with Tlamelo Kganakga, Kgalalelo Mokhutshwane chats about her love for the game and reveals highlights of her career to date.

 

Kgalalelo, thank you for chatting to us. Please tell us about yourself and where you are from.

My name is Kgalalelo Amber Mokhutswane. I am 27 years old and I am from a small town called Lichtenburg. I am a Psychology graduate from the University of North-West and currently studying PGCE in Foundation Phase. I work as a preschool teacher so I can be able to pay my studies.

I am a rugby coach for the rugby juniors, a board member for the Mmabatho rugby club as well as a senior player for Mmabatho.

When and where did your love for sport begin?

I would say I was born with it as I started participating in athletics at the age of 6 and always came out first position. I excelled in athletics until the age of 13 when I left primary school to go to High school. In High school I then started falling in love with Netball, but only made it for the school’s team in Grade 10. After a knee injury in high school I rested for two years without playing sport. When I came to University I was then introduced to rugby.

Please tell us how you got involved as board member at Mmabatho Rugby Club.

One of the coaches who recruited me to come play rugby decided to open his own rugby club. Because I finished with my studies at NWU he then asked me to assist him in making rugby grow in Mafikeng especially in our rural communities. I was selected as the Secretary of the MRC board members.

What are your duties as board member?

My duties as a secretary is to take minutes of every meeting held, to update members of any meetings and to provide feedback. I am responsible in keeping our management up to date with all the leagues and any other information that comes from our Union (Leopards Rugby Union).

How is the club supported financially?

We currently don’t have any funding and training fields. We survive by asking permission from schools for training venues, and only this year we started to ask for membership fees in order to run administration. In terms of honouring our games, the Department of Sport has been helping out with transport.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my career is being selected for provincial for two years in a row and most of all for allowing myself to join rugby. That was the greatest decision I’ve ever made, unlike other sports, rugby is not a love at first sight for most people. But when you get into the sport it becomes your best love.

What is the fondest memory of your career to date?

My fondest memory of my career is when I was a new player in the provincial team, I felt so small. Looking at myself today I’ve come a long way and I have grown from all the experiences that I have received.

In your opinion, how’s the state of women’s rugby in the North West Province?

The state of women’s rugby is growing in North West, it might be at a slow pace but it is growing. In the past, women were taught rugby at a later stage when they were already seniors but now we have junior girls teams who in the future will play for the seniors. We have more teams in the women’s league than before so I would say women’s rugby is gradually growing.

What do you think can be done to improve sport as a whole in the province?

I think maybe if campaigns were run by different sporting codes to let people know about their programmes, especially in rural areas where the community is mostly fond of soccer. This will enhance the knowledge of the public if people get to know and understand other codes.

What are some of the lessons you have learned your career?

I have learned that discipline is the greatest aspect in sport. If you lack discipline, especially in a team sport you cost your team.

What do you think we as media can do to amplify women’s sport coverage?

I think media is already doing a great job by giving women a platform and celebrating women in sport. I am thankful for the opportunity.

What’s your greatest ambition?

My ambition is to see rugby grow in Mahikeng, especially in our rural areas where many of our youth don’t have any extra mural activities to do. Rugby is not yet known in our communities. I have become a player and a coach to inspire more youngsters out there.

How can women and young girls get access to play rugby at Mmabatho Rugby Club?

Ladies who want to join our club can find us on our Facebook page – Mmabatho rugby club or they can WhatsApp 0762144045 for more info.

 

Photo 1 Caption: Mmabatho Rugby Club secretary and player, Kgalalelo Mokhutshwane, is aiming to inspire women and young girls in rural areas to get involved in rugby. Photo: Supplied

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