Young rugby players from rural schools across the province gathered at BB Truck Noordelikes Rugby Club to join in the Limpopo Rugby Youth Day hosted by former Blue Bulls rugby player John Mametja in conjunction with the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.
Mametja is a role model for young rugby players as he is the first black South African to have played in 100 Currie Cup games.
After hanging up his boots around 2009 he established the John Mametja Foundation which aims to develop young talent among rugby players from rural areas.
“Limpopo is home to very talented people, especially young rugby players. They need to have access to the right training and coaching to be able to achieve. I hope to touch every single talented young rugby player’s heart through the foundation,” Mametja said, adding that he hoped to introduce rugby to young players and share some knowledge.
Media Liaison Officer at the department Malesela Ramaoka said five teams representing the five districts of Limpopo were invited. “The teams consist of players from various rural schools in the province. We created this opportunity for them to learn from the country’s best legends in rugby in order to development their talent for rugby,” he said.
The clinic was coached by Wim Visser, level three International Rugby Board (IRB) Coach and former Italian player, current Blue Bulls player Bandise Mako and former Springbok and Sharks player David von Hoesslin.
After the clinic teams from the five districts entered into a match to determine the best team of the day. Malesela could however not provide the results of the matches.
Starting as a junior with Vodacom Blue Bulls in 2001, Mametsa has since played for the Bulls in the Vodacom Cup, the Currie Cup, and the Super 14 series, usually on the wing.
Making his Currie Cup debut in 2002, Mametsa was named Currie Cup player of the year in 2003. During his 100th game against the Lions at Ellis Park Stadium on 21 June 2008, he scored three tries for the Bulls and went on to score the most tries (7) by any Bulls player that year. He was part of the Blue Bulls team that won the Currie Cup in 2003 and 2004.
By 30 July 2009 Mametja had played 120 games for the Bulls in the Currie Cup competition, scoring 320 points. His 64 career tries placed him third on the list of all-time tries scored by Blue Bulls players, and he is 12th on the Bulls’ list of most career matches.