Young women from the GWRI represent the Valke Invitational Team at the YTC tournament

Yesterday was National Women’s Day in South Africa, a few days after the South Africa Rugby Youth Training Centre (YTC) tournament took place to trial for junior Springbok Women. Young women from our amazing partner, Gauteng Women’s Rugby Institute (GWRI), represented the Valke invitational team, only one of two non-YTC teams invited to the tournament. 

Many of the girls and young women that join the GWRI have grown up in communities deprived of resources, equality, and hope. They struggle with food insecurity and limited opportunities, as well as reduced self-confidence and belief after growing up in communities where they are constantly told they are second.

The GWRI is changing that. Offering training, coaching, mentoring, education and food, the programme is empowering the current generation. The Valke team showed grit and determination at the YTC tournament, playing with heart and showcasing the girl’s natural talent and hard work. After tough competition, the GWRI and Valke were proud to announce two of their girls made the Junior Springbok team. A massive achievement and congratulations to the two young women. 

For other young girls growing up in South Africa, seeing the success of the team and the tangible impact the GWRI has had on the young women’s lives offers hope that they too can achieve great things. The young women at GWRI and Valke are inspiring future generations, embodying the spirit of women’s day by showing what they are capable of and showing why they deserve to be treated with respect, equality and opportunity.  

It is amazing to see the young women take their own mentoring opportunities and offer help to those younger than them, taking what they have learnt from their time with the Gauteng Women’s Rugby Institute and want to continue making change, feeling confident to create and lead it for themselves.