Tag Rugby International Series a step closer for Hanover Park player

Hanover Park’s Shafiek Olckers is one step closer from representing South Africa at the Tag Rugby International Series in Ireland in August. Picture: Lonwabo Marele

As Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed and the world settles in to the “new normal”, the local and international sports scenes are getting back on track.

Now the Tag Bok National Rugby Team has been invited to participate in the first international event since July 2019.

Young and promising rugby player, Shafiek Olckers, from Hanover Park, is among the squad members chosen to represent South Africa at the International Tag Series, which will be held at the University of Limerick, Ireland, in August.

The team will leave for Dublin on Tuesday August 2.

“I’ve been playing rugby since I was very young. I started playing tag rugby last year after my friends invited me to go and play. I enjoy playing tag rugby and introducing people from the community to play because they also push me to play. For my community it means a lot because they always say I will make it on the big screen,” he said.

Olckers is also a Villagers Rugby Football Club fullback and a junior coach at Violets Sports Club in Chukker Road, Kenwyn. When he is not on the sports field, he is studying the sport or at mosque.

Olckers’ goal is to use sport to make a living, to give back to his society and to change the perception of how people conceive Hanover Park on an international stage.

“It is not easy where we live because there is a lot that is happening but we use sport to keep us busy. I just want to make my dreams come true,” he said.

Although Olckers remains ambitious, the national team does not have a sponsor, he and all the other players, management and the referees, are required to raise R27 085, excluding spending money, by the end of June, to take part in the International Tag Federation sanctioned event later this year.

In a newsletter, Tag Rugby director and International Tag Federation chairman, Stuart McConell, said the tour is vital for the national team’s preparations ahead of the Tag Rugby World Cup in Ireland next year.

“Please consider helping Shafiek Olckers in his quest to represent South Africa on the international sporting stage,” said McConell.

For more information or to assist Shafiek Olckers, contact him on 065 891 8660 or email shafiekolckers678@gmail.com

TagBok national player, Shafiek Olckers runs over a few drills before a practice session in Athlone last week. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Shafiek Olckers is determined to bring change in to his community of Hanover Park through rugby. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Olckers is also a Villagers Rugby Football Club fullback and a junior coach at Violets Sports Club, in Chukker Road. When he is not on the sports field, he is studying the sport or at Mosque. Picture: Lonwabo Marele