By SYDNEY MORWENG
The tournament in honour of the legendary rugby icon Albert Fotho Tyulu is part of sport and rugby development in peripheral areas in the Eastern Cape, where sport is considered to be way out of poverty.
Tyulu was instrumental in rugby and cricket development since he was appointed as Match Secretary of the then Zwelitsha African Rugby Union ZARU (Non racial union) in 1973, and served in a number of positions until he was elected President of the Border Rugby Union Development Committee in 1993.
At the time of his death Tyulu was a director at the Eastern Cape department of housing for local government, but still profoundly involved in sports development.
The South African Rugby Unio also throwed its’ weight behind the tournament by sanctioning it since its formation last year.
Xhanti Lamani, SARU club rugby manager, said their aim is to sustain and maintain club rugby as “kids from the rural areas possess natural talent”.
“It is important for us to support this tournament as Zwelitsha has produced a number of quality rugby players and administrators like Tyulu” he said.
“We will provide the resources needed to ensure the tournament runs smoothly, things like the first aid kit has to be available as players are in high risk of career threatening injuries” he added.
“We can’t have a tournament named after everyone. Tyulu is the symbol of all the rugby legends like Nelson Mandela is to the freedom fighters”, says Lamani after being quizzed why was the tourney named after the legendary Tyulu.
According to Afrika Tyulu, the son of the late, theirs is to conscientious the people of Eastern Cape that rugby development is of high importance to them, and is considered to be one of those sporting codes to fight poverty amongst poorer communities targeting youths.
“We want to create a family day environment for young kids, students, young professionals and older working class people who love rugby,” he said.
“Sport is the only tool were the mental strengths and capabilities is measured, and we hope these youngsters will live up to the game, “he told SPORTS FOCUS.
Asked what kind of support has been committed for the tourney, he said this year has seen more positive response from various companies, private sector and local government jumping on the opportunity to rally behind the tournament.