SA-based rugby referee Ndlovu set for World Schools Sevens tourney

Shemeah Ndlovu in action during a club rugby game in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Award-winning South Africa-based Zimbabwean rugby referee Shemeah Ndlovu has been appointed to officiate at this year’s edition of the World Schools Sevens tournament to be played in New Zealand in December.

The World School Sevens is an annual Rugby 7’s tournament that showcases the best under-18 sevens rugby talent from around the world.

It offers opportunities for New Zealand based U18 representative sides, academies (composite sides), and secondary school teams to compete against participating teams from around the world.

Participants not only experience a high level of competition on the field but also get to experience Aotearoa New Zealand’s amazing culture and hospitality off the field.

This year’s edition of the prestigious competition will be played from December 17 to 18 at the Pakuranga United Rugby Club in Auckland New Zealand.

Among the officials who will feature in this year’s edition is Ndlovu, who has been making big strides in South Africa, where he is based in Mpumalanga.

Ndlovu has since embarked on a crowdfunding campaign to cater for his costs of officiating in the World Schools Sevens tournament, which would be another feather in his cap.

“I was invited to go and referee at the World Schools 7s tournament in New Zealand running from the 17th-18th of December therefore I have to get my own flight to and from and a visa for the tour,” Ndlovu said on the online fundraising platform BackaBuddy.

Shemeah Ndlovu

“This would be a great opportunity for my exposure to the rugby world. Your help would be greatly appreciated with any amount just to make this tour a huge success for me,” he said.

A former student at Hamilton High School in Bulawayo, Ndovu’s involvement in rugby started off as a player before he ventured into officiating and coaching.

He initially started his referring career with the Zimbabwe Rugby Referees Society before moving to South Africa where he rose through the ranks in Mpumalanga to become a decorated rugby official in the province which is home to the Currie Cup outfit Pumas.

“I have been involved in the rugby refereeing industry for the past 12 years now and an opportunity like this has been one of my goals ever since I started refereeing. I am a World Rugby Level 2 accredited referee who has a huge passion for rugby refereeing and rugby coaching,” he said.

“I was once a rugby player, I started my rugby career in 2006 at high school, then later on decided to join the referees but I was still a rugby player and had to stop playing rugby in 2013 when I realized that it was now depriving me from refereeing bigger school teams and clubs teams because there was going to be a conflict of interests for I was still a player. I, later on, did my coaching course and was a coach at Gifford High School rugby team, where I coached the 1st team for 3 years and after that, I then became a full-time rugby referee where I have accomplished so many levels, was 7s Referee of the year at the Pumas Union in 2017, 2018 and 2019. I was also referee ambassador of the year 2019, the fittest referee of 2019. Once again your help would be greatly appreciated to make this tour a success for me,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu together with his fellow South Africa-based compatriot Noah Muunganirwa officiated at the Under-18 Craven Week as well as the Under-16 Grant Khomo Week respectively.

The 29-year-old Ndlovu was one of the referees for South Africa’s flagship schoolboy rugby tournament, the Under-18 Craven Week, which made a return this year after not being held in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

You can help Shemeah Ndlovu pursue his dream by donating to his campaign at




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