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Rasta in Mauritius

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The rugby world knows him as Rasta. The dreadlocks are gone but the name stays. For one thing its easier to most tongues - and typewriters - than Fhatuwani Rasivhenge. 

By Paul Dobson, Moonsport

The former Jeppe boy and Wits student has roamed the rugby world with World Rugby's Sevens as well as refereeing Super Rugby, Test matches and local matches. He is 31 now and in 2015 he became the youngest man to referee the prestigious Currie Cup final in South Africa.

This week he is refereeing in Windhoek when Uruguay come to play, but just before that he was on the beautiful island of Mauritius, and he reports on his visit, which was not all holiday fun on the beach.

"Firstly I would like to thank the Mauritian Rugby Union for inviting me as a guest to be in the Mauritius to officiate and also assist referees in Mauritius.

"This was probably one of the best exchanges I have been to in Africa and I have participated in - a highlight in my career of refereeing, I have not come across such amazing people in my travels over the last 10 years but one thing I know for sure is that there is something special that will be developing in Mauritius through the director of rugby Mr Jean Baptist and Manager of rugby Mr Christophe.

"I had the honour to meet the president of Mauritius rugby – Mr Kevin and also met the minister of sport at the women’s Sevens event which was well organised. The hospitality was amazing through the past couple of days, the acceptance, the camaraderie, the enthusiasm, the passion and the dedication to be recognised a rugby leader in Africa.

"I was truly humbled by the new high-performance workshops and structures that will be implemented soon, as I learned a lot from the individuals, management and different Mauritians. It’s great to be part of such an amazing occasion as I have realised that there is so much untapped talent that’s waiting to be unleashed in this region.

"Thanks again to Mauritian Rugby Union and SA Rugby for making this opportunity to happen as there are many reasons to celebrate this event that sets a benchmarkk for the rest of Africa to follow.

"I feel that the initiatives and structures that Jean Baptist will incorporate will ensure continuous growth, development and depth for the system that will provide world class individuals that will go on to represent Mauritius rugby in all forms of the game.

"Through the processes of workshops and initiatives set up I can guarantee you all that success in all departments of rugby in Mauritius is not too far away. I truly believe that we should continue to inspire the younger Individuals to get involved in the playing and officiating side of rugby, and I will be glad to assist in any format if the opportunity comes up again.

"I was extremely impressed by every individual that was part of the club finals and Sevens finals. All individuals can be proud of their efforts and the hard work starts now as this is a new bench mark that has been set.

"The rugby final was scintillating as the score of 37-34 shows that they are willing to entertain crowds and play a good brand of rugby. The inter-country Sevens where Madagascar played Reunion was outstanding and I felt that this is the very close to the top 10 teams at world rugby as Madagascar pipped Reunion 24-12 in an entertaining Sevens match.

"To all people that were part of the successful weekend including Alex, you can all be proud of what you have done and achieved as the continuous sacrifices are important.

"I was grateful to share the on-and-off field elements with the locals to inspire them with what I have learned through World Rugby, as creating values, having a functional systems and creating a good culture is what World Rugby stands for, which will help the Mauritian Rugby Union for the rest of their GROWTH.

"Mr Baptist and Mr Christopher thanks for all your assistance as you did a great job in everything over the past couple of days."

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