Rugby Unions in South Africa takes much more responsibilities, not just on the developing of the sport and the abilities of the players, but also form an integrated part of their upbringing and education.
By: Wetzel Nortier
The Western Province Rugby Football Union has unveiled a new initiative to provide much-needed educational support to young rugby hopefuls in the province.
The Western Province Rugby President’s Trust, launched at DHL Newlands on Tuesday, will provide bursaries, as well as rugby training and development, to gifted young players who can’t afford primary, secondary or tertiary schooling. The brainchild of previous President, Tobie Titus, the Trust has now come to life and is set to change the lives of many children who are eager to pursue a career in professional rugby.
“There is no doubt that sport, and particularly rugby, is a unifying force; one that can bring together the communities across the Western Cape,” comments Thelo Wakefield, current President of the Union and of the Trust. “However, there are so many talented young players that, while they have a natural aptitude for rugby, are unable to realize their full potential since they don’t have access to funds for schooling. The Trust aims to give an opportunity to these players, giving them a well-rounded approach to their career.”
“Being a successful rugby player is about more than just playing rugby,” comments Scarra Ntubeni, DHL Stormers and DHL WP player and speaker at the launch. “It’s about having an educational framework – understanding the business of rugby and how to build a career once your professional rugby days are over. The Trust is a key intervention, since it allows potential players to acquire this knowledge to be successful.”
The Trust, which is registered as a Section 18A non-profit organization, is funded through public donations and will now be on the search for likeminded partners and donors to increase the opportunities for bursaries. These bursaries and development opportunities are open to any young rugby player between the ages of 6 and 21, who feels that he or she shows demonstrable talent or potential in the game.
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Source: Western Province Rugby Union