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SA Rugby on Tuesday marked International Women’s Day with the announcement that it has established two more women’s rugby Youth Training Centres (YTC’s), at the Griquas and South Western Districts rugby unions respectively, increasing the number of development centres to eight.

The first six training centres were established in April last year at the Blue Bulls, Limpopo Blue Bulls, Border, Eastern Province, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Province, with the objective of growing the base of women’s players in the country and grooming them from a young age for the demands of rugby.

Through the YTC’s, players from Under-16 to Under-18 levels have access to weekly training sessions, conditioning and nutritional programmes, and they participate in scheduled matches to expose them to regular competition.

As part of the programme, the players are also granted access to gymnasiums within the SA Rugby network to improve their strength and fitness levels.

A special coaching blueprint designed by the SA Rugby Mobi-Unit is implemented at the training centres to ensure a uniformity in the structures and systems throughout the country.

Ronald Marman has been appointed the coach at the Griquas Youth Training Centre, while Riaan Lameley will fulfil the role at SWD.

“SA Rugby is committed to growing women’s rugby and increasing participation in the sport throughout the country and we have made a significant investment in the last few years to achieve this,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“The establishment of two additional Youth Training Centres is significant with this in mind, as it will assist in increasing the number of girls playing rugby in those regions, and serve as an effective feeder system for the respective women’s senior provincial teams. It is particularly special to make this announcement on International Women’s Day.

“The Youth Training Centres have played a key role in equipping young girls with the necessary skills and techniques to groom them into quality players since the inception of the programme last year, and it is pleasing that we have been able to increase the number of centres to eight. Hopefully some of the players developed through this system will represent our women’s national teams in future.”

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