BY AIDEN DARIES
South Eastern District Rugby Union (SEDRU) recently celebrated its 50th anniversary Gala Dinner at the Tantyi Indoor Sports Centre in Makhanda. Various speakers affiliated with SEDRU spoke at the event, which drew a massive turnout.
The evening paid homage to and honour past legends who contributed so significantly to the game of rugby in the South Eastern area.
SEDRU was established in 1972 on the foundations of non-racialism, non-sexism and non-discrimination in opposition to the Apartheid government and the South African Rugby Union (SARU).
SEDRU’s status was changed to a sub-union of the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) in 1992. However, EPRU President Maasdorp Cannon said the standard of rugby at both club and school levels had seen a massive decline since the reunification in 1992. “SEDRU had no resources, and the facilities were non-existent, but we continued the game of rugby that was started by our forefathers as early as the 1800s”.
The fight to keep this sub-union going was “worth it”, Cannon said. “It filled a vacuum from 1960 to the 1990s when a negotiated settlement came to fruition.”
SEDRU hopes to one day see an Eastern Cape franchise playing in the Currie Cup because it is the only province without a league franchise in South Africa.
SEDRU kicked off their celebrations in early September as they hosted a rugby day in which all local clubs were invited to participate. The stadium was packed to its rafters as people came out in their numbers to witness this momentous occasion.
This was a chance for SEDRU to select players who would make up the SEDRU team that competed on 23 September 2022 at the Oval.
The day at the Oval turned out to be exactly what the organisers had hoped for. The winners of the day were Mary Waters.
A 7s rugby tournament will start on 15 October in Bushmans, as local clubs compete against each other. On 29 October, a 10s tournament will take place at the Oval to celebrate SEDRU turning 50.