Former Cheetahs player Sino Ganto has been appointed head coach and director of the Pakistan Sevens team. He will lead the side at next month’s Asia Rugby Trophy in Indonesia.
Rugby is gaining momentum in Pakistan and Ganto was hired to help grow the sport after he impressed the unions during his interview.
Speaking to Sowetan from his base in Pakistan, Ganto shared how the country has been so good to him so far. “Pakistan is great, I’m safe, the hotel I’m at is good, I’ve been well looked after. I’m loving it, I haven’t had any challenges so far,” Ganto said.
The Alice, Eastern Cape, native cut his teeth in coaching by serving as a backline and skills coach for the Cheetahs. He also held coaching clinics in Kenya and has done skills sessions with players like Springboks' Raymond Rhule, Lusanda Dumke, Zintle Mpupha and Sanele Nohamba.
The appointment as head coach of the Pakistan Sevens team will allow him to grow as a coach and increase his experience. Though he’s there to share his knowledge of the game, he’s seeing this step as a learning process.
“For me, this is a blessing, to be able to get and put on my boots again and smell the grass is great. It’s about me getting to learn more, you’re always learning especially where rugby is not in high standards as we have in SA. There’s so much learning, even though you’ve come to teach.
“The players are working hard and doing their best to get better every day. It’s good for me, I’m learning with each session in terms of how I talk and explain to the players,” he said.
Preparations are well under way for the Asia Rugby Trophy, which will take place from August 5-6. With many of his players having full-time jobs, Ganto makes the most of the time they have on the field, even doing double sessions.
“We have put structures in place, now we are just after what we have for next month. Our goal is to qualify for the Asia Trophy, which will be next year. So far things are going well with the guys, we have a short time to do everything. Fitness, conditioning, and skills will play a major role,” Ganto said.