Rugby Africa has announced launch of an award for sports journalists as a way of appreciating the role they play in promoting the sport in Africa.
Dubbed Media and Photography Award, its inauguration is set for later this year. According to Rugby Africa General Manager Coralie van Den Berg, category winners will each pocket $1,500.
Consequently, Rugby Africa has invited submissions from all over the continent.
As part of Rugby Africa’s work to grow the sport, the criteria for media and photography will recognise submissions that value the promotion and progression of the game.
Over the years, many events have shaped the face of rugby on the continent, which is why Berg says Rugby Africa is keen to recognise the women and men who are always present to capture the moments.
In a statement, Berg said, “As a show of support to journalists and photographers who have the invaluable task of documenting the game for fans and players alike, the inaugural Media & Photography Awards, represent a new era of sharing and appreciation of our sport, which has brought so many people together. The submissions opened on May 17 and will close on July 17. This will see the winner announced on August 18.”
The manager said the continental rugby body is putting “deliberate focus on the heroines and heroes, outside the field of play, working tirelessly to promote rugby in every corner of the continent, a sport that continues to change and bridge lives.”
However, Rugby Africa is cognisant of the fact that quality content can come from anywhere, including “drop-kick at posts” in the new competition.
“Fans and players together are the pulse of every game, both young and old, so the competition is open to all to participate and take part in the action – we would be honoured to consider your submission. If your friends and family like it, there is a great chance that our judges will like it too,” the general manager said.
Over the years rugby has increasingly made its mark as entertaining pastime for many people, but more than that, it has elevated the promise of brand Africa through exploits of countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and others.
As the bastillion of rugby on the continent, Rugby Africa says it is impressed by the far-reaching achievements of all stakeholders in the game that has ensured broad-based recognition of the sport as it should be.
According to President of Rugby Africa Khaled Babbou, the game is a continental pillar of the sport, as a regional association of World Rugby.
For many years, observed Babbou, it has worked at different levels with member nations, involved in the official practice of 15s and 7s versions of the sport in different parts of Africa. Both women’s and men’s rugby are promoted by Rugby Africa.
“The men’s and women’s Rugby Africa Cup and sevens tournaments as well as the U20 Barthés Trophy are key drivers of the work we do on the continent. From our 39 member nations, 24 are full or associate members of World Rugby, which bears testament to our representation and commitment to being a progressive leader in the game,” the president observed.
In addition, he said, “Our dedicated scrum of team members continues to grow and nurture relationships with local rugby unions, through collaboration, offering workshops, programmes, tournaments, and other platforms of engagement around the game.”
According to head of finance committee of Rugby Africa Herman Mensah, the continental body has also evolved with the sport through the years. In 2019, Rugby Africa’s competitions were redesigned to improve representation through continental and regional tournaments.
Fixture additions included the men’s and women’s Rugby Africa Cup, several regional sevens tournaments, continental men’s and women’s sevens tournaments and the U20 tournament. The tournaments have fuelled the exposure of rugby not only as a sport, but as a fan favourite, for millions in audiences across the continent.
As a continental sensation, rugby has endured the test of time, from humble beginnings and grown into a multinational phenomenon, best witnessed in popular culture epitomised Rugby Africa Cup.
On the world stage, we are proud to have taken the cup home as a continent, most specifically through South Africa – the current world champions – bearing witness to the strong support the sport has received across the board.
- A Tell report