“We are not here to just participate. We are here to win. We want to make that clear from the first time we step onto the field. We want to make a statement.”
Newly appointed FNB Madibaz captain Ivan Ludick, 23, is ready and raring, champing at the bit for the 2016 Varsity Cup rugby season and the prospect of leading his team onto the field.
Coming off a challenging 2015 tournament, winning only one game, Ludick said there is “a whole new vibe and energy” in the team, and they are ready to take the fight to their opponents.
“Every game will be important and we will take it week-by-week and game-by-game. But our first game, on 8 February against the University of Johannesburg, will be our opportunity to come out and showcase our intentions,” said the scrumhalf.
Ludick joined the FNB Madibaz in 2013, bringing a wealth of experience with him to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University side. He finished his schooling at Oakdale High School, representing the South Western District’s Craven Week team in 2009 and 2010. While at the Craven Week in 2010 he was approached by the Sharks Academy and joined their ranks, playing for their under-19 and under-21 Currie Cup teams, as well as the Vodacom Cup team. At the same time Ludick also studied a degree in B.Com Economics and Management.
The 23-year-old came to FNB Madibaz at the end of the 2013, joining the side for pre-season training and was part of the team that played in the 2014 and 2015 Varsity Cup tournaments. Since coming to Port Elizabeth he has also been included in the EP Rugby set-up, representing the Kings at various levels.
For the coming few weeks pre-season training will take a backseat to academics, as the student athletes are preparing for exams. Ludick, currently a second year education student, said learning studies was a priority at this stage and he will focus on exams before returning to training.
“We have to keep in mind that we are student athletes, putting us in a unique situation. We have to find a good balance between our sport and our studies.
“But all the team members are very supportive of each other, both on the field and behind the books.”
Looking ahead at the 2016 season and his selection as captain, Ludick said he is very excited and honoured to be leading a promising young squad onto the battlefield.
“We have come through a very tough season, but we now have many talented players whom have stepped into the gaps left by our senior players that have moved on. We also have a group of guys who have been part of the team for some time now, and I believe they will help me to inspire the younger guys to greater heights.”
Madibaz coach David Maidza believes Ludick’s selection as captain will bring a “calmness” to the side.
“Ivan has been in the system for a while and has grown superbly as a player and a leader,” said Maidza.