Mbare’s Shingirirai Primary School were on Saturday (today) crowned Harare tag rugby community league champions for primary schools.

Tag rugby which is on the growth path in the country is spearheading Zimbabwe’s grassroots rugby development.

The Tag Rugby Trust now has leagues for junior school kids running in Harare, which was the pilot project and has spread to Bulawayo, Hwange and Victoria Falls.

Harare’s tag rugby community league has the highest number of teams 18.

The final was played at David Livingstone and won by Mbare’s Shingirai Primary while other leagues in Bulawayo, Hwange and Victoria Falls are also now in place.

The Tag Rugby Trust (TRT) of Zimbabwe says the sport is being met with enthusiasm even in areas where rugby was previously unheard of and has started to spread like wildfire.

Tinashe ‘TJ’ Shamu the country director for TRT in Zimbabwe says the sport has taken off in primary schools and is being well received across the country.

The tag rugby community league for Harare primary schools has been a success with different centres taking turns to host matches.

Tag rugby is a non-contact version of the sport which girls and boys can play together on an equal basis.

The game follows the rules of the full-contact version of rugby, but instead of tackling each other, players grab a fabric tag that is attached to the body of their opponents.

It is a more formal version of the game commonly known as ‘touch rugby’.

Tag rugby team is made up of 10 players, five girls and five boys and aims at developing young talent and raise the profile of the game at an early age.

Rugby teaches respect, teamwork, friendships, breaks down social and geographical barriers, co-operation between different communities, tolerance and achievement.

In addition to just enjoying the thrill of the game, the children involved get exposure to educational programmes in environmental conservation, journalism and media.

TRT also provides qualification courses for International Rugby Board (IRB) standard coaching and refereeing through their accreditation pathway, from levels one through to the IRB rugby ready qualifications.