Zimbabwe rugby sevens team skipper Kudzai Mashawi says he will now focus on imparting the knowledge he has gained during his career to the next generation of players after calling time on his retirement from international rugby on Monday.
In addition to captaining the Cheetahs during their transition phase, Mashawi has been involved the in the development of the game as a coach at Tag Rugby Trust Zimbabwe.
Tag Rugby Trust is a rugby development programme whose aim is not just to teach children rugby but to also make them responsible people who are able to bring a positive impact to their community.
It runs under the motto “Building futures through rugby”
“I might have retired from international rugby but I will remain involved in the game. I work for Tag Rugby Trust Zimbabwe which does community development-based work. I love coaching kids so definitely looking to dig into that while also focusing more on my family,” Mashawi told ZimSportLive in an exclusive interview on Monday.
Mashawi recently led the national rugby sevens side, which is affectionately known as the Cheetahs, during their participation at the Rugby World Cup Sevens which was held in Cape Town, South Africa last month.
The 29-year-old Harare Sports Club utility player made his Sevens debut in 2018 after switching from the fifteens format, where he also played for the Sables.
After switching to the shorter format of the game, he went on to enjoy immediate success.
He took over as the team’s captain in October last year, following in the footsteps of some of the country’s finest short-format players such as the legendary Jacques Leitao, Danny Hondo, and Stephan Hunduza.
The major highlight of his stint as skipper came early this year when he led the Cheetahs to qualification for the Rugby World Cup Sevens after the team finished in second position at the 2022 Africa Men’s Sevens Cup in Uganda.
Mashawi encouraged his teammates in the Cheetahs squad to continue working hard for the team which has been working towards re-establishing themselves as a force on the international stage.
“I would say coming second in Africa Cup and qualifying for the World Cup and being there at the global tournament were the main highlights of my stint as captain. This has laid a solid foundation for the side and I would like to encourage the players to keep working hard and grow in character and the game. Above all, I want to encourage them to be the men they are supposed to be,” he said.