Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN rugby official, Abigail Kawonza has been chosen for the Rugby Africa “Unstoppables”, a campaign aimed at fast-tracking the development of women’s rugby on the continent.
Kawonza, who has over the years been involved in the game as a player, coach, match official, educator, citing commissioner, technical advisor and Zimbabwe Rugby Union board member is part of a list of 12 outstanding women from the African continent chosen for the #TryAndStopUs social media campaign. The other women are from Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda.
Rugby Africa President, Khaled Babbou, was excited to launch their #Unstoppables campaign and said: “We want to do something very impactful and sustainable for all women in rugby on the continent to get players, fans and sponsors interested in the game.”
Babbou said the aim of the campaign is to shore up women in the game beyond this drive as research has shown that rugby is on the rise in Africa.
“Our goal is to uplift the ‘Unstoppables’ and the women in rugby beyond this campaign. We have a long-term vision and commitment. Africa is a big rugby market as the latest Nielsen report shows, conducted by World Rugby, and one of the fastest growing markets in the world,’’ said Babbou.
Rugby Africa #Unstoppables:
• Abigail Kawonza (Zimbabwe) – Board member, match official coach and referee
• Babalwa Latsha (South Africa) – Springbok Women’s and international player
• Christel Janet Kotze (Namibia) – Coach and TV producer
• Donatienne Rasoampamonjy (Madagascar) – Coach, coach trainer and club founder
• Fatma El-Kindiy (Botswana) – Communications and project manager
• Ella Paule Guei (Côte d’Ivoire) – Referee
• Fatou Camara Sene (Senegal) – Administrator and communications manager
• Rafatu Inusah (Ghana) – Board member and educator
• Peris Mukoko (Kenya) – Board member, educator and match official
• Samiya Ayikoru (Uganda) – International player
• Sanaa Barakat (Egypt) – Player
• Wejdane Limame (Tunisia) – Citing commissioner and club president