The Sunday Mail
Deputy Sports Editor
TAWANDA JIMU is a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, figuratively speaking, that is.
His phone has been ringing non-stop, for days, while many have been knocking at his door.
And the reason for this is a proposal by St John’s College new rugby director Doug Trivella. The proposal could see the launch of a new festival many believe could rival the Dairibord schools event for which Jimu sits as director.
Christened “Derby Day”, the festival is believed to have targeted some of the country’s top schools, and has been pencilled in for May 1-2, which will clash with the traditional Dairibord festival.
The Dairibord festival is slated for April 27-May 2, at its traditional home, Prince Edward High School.
The “Derby Day” spills into the festival’s biggest days — Friday and Saturday – and as has targeted mostly private schools such as Eaglesvale, Watershed, Gateway, Peterhouse, Falcon College, Churchill, St George’s College and Peterhouse — most of whom have the pull to act as a counter attraction.
Trivella could not immediately provide details on his tournament, pledging to so on his return to the country next week.
“I am currently on my way out of the country, so am not in a position to talk at the moment,’’ Trivella said. For his part Jimu appears unfazed by the prospect of a new player arriving on the scene, going as far as to welcome the development.
“We are more than pleased to hear that a new festival could be coming and welcome a little brother of sorts,” said Jimu with a slight chuckle.
“Should they get the relative clearances and papers we welcome the development for more festivals, means more games for the kids and that is a good thing,” he said.
He did, however, express shock at the dates of the proposed festival and extended a hand of friendship in which both parties can come to the table and iron out on the potential clash.
“I am not sure why these particular dates were chosen, I can only assume that these are arguably the biggest dates on the calendar, pre-season, and that is due, in part, to the work of the Dairibord Schools Rugby Festival over the years.
“I would implore the organisers of this festival to come up with new dates, possibly spreading their festival to later dates during the course of the season.
“They can hold it towards the end, or even in the middle, so as not to crowd this particular week and force teams to choose.
“We have also been invited and would love to attend as many festivals as possible. I think the same goes for every other team that would love to take part in both tournaments,’’ Jimu said.
That said, the show must go on; and Jimu said the Dairibord festival will not only proceed, as planned, but preparations are already on the home stretch.
“We are currently running around trying to finalise our plans.
“While I cannot get into specifics, I can tell you that we have received inquiries from many international teams that want to take part in the festival this year.
“We have teams from KZN, Zambia and Malawi all expressing interest.
“This year festivities start on May 26 as we hold the fifth edition of the primary schools’ leg of the festival and we hope to be in a position to announce the teams and dates for the event in the coming weeks,” he said.
With just under two months before Prince Edward High School opens its doors, yet again, for the sixth edition of the Dairibord festival, a new player lies in wait and could throw a monkey wrench into Jimu’s plans.