The first rugby introductory sessions in the Ndé schools began in 2019 at the initiative of young rugby players from our Bangangté rugby team, known as the Nzuimanto Rugby Club. This Club is a group of young rugby players who have been trained by the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA). Upon completing their training, as they did not want to be split in order to integrate various clubs within the national territory, they resolved to set up a team to defend the colours of their own region, the Ndé, at the national level. In 2019, it was apparent that rugby was almost non-existent in the curriculum of the schools in the Ndé region. At the same time, introductory sessions were also conducted by Abaa, rugby manager of the Zoétélé centre in schools near his centre.
In Ndé, since September 2019, our young coaches, Idriss Ketcha, Jacques Toresse and Loïc Zeutsop have massively contributed to the popularisation of rugby in the schools. These actions happened once authorisation had been given by the Cameroonian Rugby Federation (Fecarugby) for the inclusion of rugby in schools. From 2019, Idriss, Jacques and Loïc gave theoretical presentations to make our sport known to school teams and students, handed out rugby balls, and carried out rugby training for young people from 2021. We would like to thank them for their dedication to the development of rugby in the country. It is a pleasure to collaborate with such passionate and diligent young people.
In 2021, 7 schools in the Ndé region benefited from SBA rugby introductory sessions, i.e. 745 children, plus the children from the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté and also those from the neighbourhood. In 2022, the young coaches of the Serge Betsen Academy carried on presenting rugby to the boards of schools in the region, and carried out rugby introductory sessions in 8 different schools and thus introduced rugby to 750 children. Rugby introductory sessions therefore took place in 2022 in the following schools: Nenta nursery school, Group 1 public school, Group 2 A and B public school, Fatgo’o public school, Saint Jean-Baptiste College, Babou Classic High School, Lycée Technique of Banékane and the Japanese Donation Public School, Group I A and B.
Here are some supporting photos:
At the Serge Betsen Academy, we work to develop rugby in the Ndé region but also in other regions where our centres are located. In the Zoétélé region, for example, rugby in schools dates back to 2011, the year in which it was set up by the Atoak Koumou association. When the SBA centre in Zoétélé was created in 2013 the SBA-Atoak Koumou partnership continued with these rugby introductions.
In Zoétélé there are 4 primary schools, namely the public school of Zoétélé Group 1 and Group 2, the Catholic school Sainte Marguerite and the bilingual school of Zoétélé which benefit from rugby initiations by the Serge Betsen Academy. In Nkoumadjap, there are 2 primary schools in which rugby initiations have been set up regularly: the public school of Nkoumadjap and the Catholic school of Nden, as well as 2 secondary schools: the Lycée of Nkoumadjap and the CETIC of Nden. Over the year 2021-2022, the Serge Betsen Academy recorded 1,518 children in Zoétélé and 726 children in Nkoumadjap who took part in the rugby initiation program.
In Yaoundé, Moise, coach of the Jardin Eden centre and of the youth team of the B Nkol Eton center (formerly Etoudi) will soon be in charge of developing the practice of rugby in schools in his sector in Yaoundé.
It is a real pleasure for the SBA to get young people to discover our sport and its values. Thanks again to Recycling Rugby for their support.
Translation : Katy Birge-Wilson