Many people feel Wits needs to spend more money to create a stronger Wits stance in the university Rugby leagues.
While Wit’s Rugby Club does receive a budget from the university they rely a lot on sponsors, alumni (old boys) and fundraising events. Compared to other universities who receive a budget of approximately R1,5 million, it still isn’t enough.
Despite a Varsity Shield final defeat, the Wits Rugby Club has managed to not only exceeded expectations and build its team up from scratch, but also create a “rugby culture” at the university.
“Most of the universities have a huge rugby budget and spend a lot of money in prepping their players,” said Mike Charnas, Wits Rugby Club chairperson.
Rumours that other universities – such as UJ- pay their players a monthly salary of up R20 000 also encourage prospective students to apply to other universities for their rugby exposure instead.
Chulumanco Macingwane, the club’s vice chairperson, “doesn’t believe that at this level it should be about the money.”
“It should be about the culture,” added Macingwane.
A sentiment shared by Wits’ rugby sports officer Quintin Van Rooyen who feels university rugby should also be about the opportunity to gain a degree added to good rugby exposure.
“The club has recently received a lot of media interest after seeing what Wits Rugby has achieved,” said Van Rooyen. He hopes this will show prospective students skilled in rugby that the university does offer great rugby along with a top education.
He feels that like any other sport, to do better the club does need better funding but are still showing improvement despite their financial shortcomings.