It is said that every good thing comes to an end and Bruce Hobson’s reign as team manager of the Zimbabwe 7s rugby team is one such event. Bruce has managed the Zim 7s rugby team, known affectionately as the Cheetahs since 2003 and has recently decided to retire from this position.
Having taken on the role, Bruce has moulded together a team that is very competitive on the international stage. During his tenure, Bruce has taken the cheetahs to 29 IRB Tournaments, 2 Rugby World Cups and 3 RWC qualifiers. To add to this, Bruce has also managed the side at over 50 regional tournaments.
Among the awards accumulated over this period are the following: Confederation Of Africa Rugby Champions ( multiple winners ), Castle Sevens Tournament Champions ( 5 times in a row ) SPAR International tournament Winners ( 2012 ), IRB Rugby World Cup Bowl Trophy Winners ( 2009), Annual National sports Awards, Team Of The Year (multiple Winners) and Administrator Of The Year, IRB World Series Shield Trophy Winners in Dubai, George and Port Elizabeth, IRB World Series Qualifier Winners, Hong Kong 2013.
Despite having achieved so much with the team, these accolades come at a time when Zimbabwe Rugby has been running in an amateur era .The hard work invested into the Cheetahs by Bruce, his late wife Caroline and the rest of his family was driven by sheer passion for the sport and the determination for the sport to succeed.
Since the beginning of the year, Bruce had made it clear to the ZRU that he would continue to manage the cheetahs up until the end of the RWC Moscow 2013. With the sad passing of Bruce’s wife and numerous commitments at hand, Bruce has stuck by his decision to retire.
Bruce has served in many capacities in his dedication to Zimbabwe Rugby since he completed his playing days in 1996. He has served as Club Captain and Chairman to Old Hararians, served on the Mashonaland Board and the ZRU Executive and served as the President of the ZRU. He has managed the Sables, Zimbabwe U/21 Rugby and Goshawks Rugby as well as Zimbabwe 7s Rugby.
In much of this service, Zimbabwe was passing through difficult economic and political times.
Bruce has agreed to stay in touch with Zimbabwe 7s Rugby so his experience and dedication is not lost to the brand. The Zimbabwe Rugby Union would like to extend their gratitude to Bruce and his family for their incredible contribution to the game. The hard work of Bruce and his family is difficult to put into words, but the impact they have had on the game is clear for all to see.
The following sums up the gratitude expressed by the IRB in part of a message from Beth Coalter , IRB Sevens Manager: “ It is sad for African Rugby that two very strong supporters, who just focussed on getting the boys to play to the best of their ability, are lost to the game. Thank you , Bruce , for all the time and effort you have put into the game.”
The Zimbabwe Rugby Union’s Executive will now appoint a new team manager for the post before the middle of august . The Cheetahs are expected to play in the Lusaka and Middelburg 7s in September .These tournaments will be used as preparation for their next IRB World Series event in Port Elizabeth on 7 / 8th December .