In June Rugby Africa announced the immediate release of €170,000 from a solidarity fund for its member unions.
The Rugby Africa Executive Committee had initiated the relief campaign given the current health crisis and the immediate impact it had on the rugby community at large with 31 rugby federations receiving the Rugby Africa solidarity fund and used it towards the distribution of emergency food packages, medical support as well as personal protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitiser gels, etc., for clubs and as well as players in their respective countries.
All member federations were eligible for this financial aid to support their rugby communities. The federations could use the funds depending on their needs, while the financial aid granted considered the size of the federation and its level of development.
The countries of the following rugby unions received grants from the Rugby Africa solidarity fund, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eswatini (Swaziland), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho Rugby Union, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius Rugby, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Lesotho Rugby Union’s President, Fetang Selialia, said, “The unveiling of the solidarity grant couldn’t have come at a much needed time as we saw the need to donate food parcels to our rugby-playing vulnerable children who were in need of food.
“There was also a further need to provide the protective utilities to our rugby players to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 within our rugby fraternity.”
Jean-Baptiste Gobelet, Director of Rugby at the Mauritius Rugby Union, added, “This campaign led by Rugby Africa has had a considerable impact in Mauritius. The Rugby Federation is the only sports federation in the country that provided social assistance of this magnitude during the COVID-19 period.
“It was necessary for rugby to prove our values and solidarity. At the same time, the federation quickly put in place a plan to resume rugby activities in July and August to maintain links with all members. Children and their families are grateful for this support and rugby has conquered the heart of social network of Mauritius even more. In the coming months, we will continue our work in the different regions of Mauritius make rugby more popular in schools.”