UWC team delight abuse survivors
As UWC Rugby Club members descended at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, residents peeped through the windows with excitement and employees came out to warmly welcome the team.
Soon after the team, led by coach Chester Williams and his captain Philbrey Joseph, got busy as they cleaned the institution and played with the children, as has become tradition in the last few seasons when they visit the centre. The team is required to conduct community service work as part of their Varsity Shield participation which, ironically, speaks to UWC’s vision to be a community-engaged institution.
Williams said it’s important that the team go and support the community, especially the Saartjie Bartman Centre. “To clean around this place and play with the kids and put smiles back on their face is a nice thing. This is a great initiative of the Varsity Shield and I must say the players are quite happy to do it.”
Joseph noted that it was a great experience for his team to give back to the community in that fashion. “For us as a team this means a lot,” he said. “It’s part of our team-building, it’s part of our culture to give back to the community where we can in every way. We are so privileged that we have homes where we are loved and where we can go back to sleep and eat. But these kids are running around with no one giving attention to them. And to show that we are there for them while they are struggling or suffering is a one in a million opportunity because it makes your heart feel soft.”
The UWC team will kick-off their Varsity Shield campaign away at Fort Hare University on 1 February before welcoming home the University of KwaZulu-Natal at home a week later. Members of the University community, including staff, students, alumni and the Cape Town community are encouraged to come in big numbers to support the team.