Rugby club cements relationships

13 March 2009

UCT Rugby Football Club at Mfuleni
Brick by brick: UCT students from the Rugby Club and Umbubo built houses in Mfuleni.

Last month, players from the UCT Rugby Football Club (UCTRFC) exchanged their boots for spades and hardhats to build houses in Mfuleni, one of the Mother City's most impoverished suburbs.

Part of a team-building and community-outreach project, the 50 students braved the heat to dig 12 trenches, paint four houses (inside and out), and finish the house that has given Petrus Plaatjies, who has lived in a shack since 1989, a place to call home.

Students playing for Umbubo, the UCTRFC's development team, also participated.

The work contributed to the Niall Mellon Townships Initiative, which has built houses in poor communities for a number of years.

The building expedition was co-ordinated by Barry O'Mahoney, the club executive responsible for outreach and transformation. (O'Mahoney was also first-team coach for a number of years.)

In 2006, club members helped build houses in Netreg. Now they plan to coach township teams for the Vuka tournament, which aims to establish a rugby-playing culture in over 50 schools where the sport is not played.

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