The University of Johannesburg rugby team showed their softer side when they spent time brushing up on their handyman skills at a local women’s shelter on Tuesday.
The players, who are gearing up for next month’s FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International, took time out from their rigorous training schedule to lend a hand at the People Opposing Women Abuse shelter on the West Rand.
According to newly appointed UJ captain Kobus Porter, his club has been working with Powa – which provides counselling, legal advice and temporary accommodation for victims of domestic abuse – for the past five years.
“We believe it’s not only important to give back to our community but also to help those who are battling to help themselves.
“This year we are giving the facility a facelift with a fresh coat of paint and doing the general maintenance and repairs that are always needed.”
Porter said UJ’s involvement aligned perfectly with the Varsity Cup pink shorts campaign, which uses the traditionally masculine sport as a platform to raise awareness of gender-based violence.
The rallying cry for the fundraising aspect of the campaign is “keep the aggro (aggression) on the field”.
The university’s under-19 squad will be following the first team’s example by assisting the Eeufees Oord old age home with cleaning and general maintenance in the lead-up to the Varsity Cup.
Porter’s men will be aiming to cement their place in the Cup competition after winning their crucial promotion/relegation match against Varsity Shield runners-up UKZN Impi in April.
The team got their warm-up campaign off to a good start when they beat the Rustenburg Impalas 24-12 in the first of their pre-season encounters.
“It’s been going great so far,” said the 23-year-old flanker.
“We’re still in the building phase but we’ve definitely had a better pre-season than in previous years.”
The university will take on the Wanderers Rugby Club in their next fixture on Saturday.
UJ kick off their Varsity Cup campaign with an away game against CUT in Bloemfontein on February 9. The first home game, against Shimlas, will take place at the UJ Stadium in Westdene on February 16.
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University of Johannesburg prop Raeez Salie (left) and wing Curt Ruiters give a jungle gym at the Powa women’s shelter a fresh coat of paint. The UJ team helped out at the shelter as part of their FNB Varsity Cup, presented by Steinhoff International, social responsibility campaign. Photo: Kabungo Mubana
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