The clubs and the affiliates of the Eastern province Rugby Union made it very clear who they want in charge of their union over the next four years, with an overwhelming majority vote in favour of Cheeky Watson and his executive.
The elections, which took place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday during the Annual General Meeting, were presided over by independent auditor Jako Liebenberg, from LDSW Chartered Accountants and Auditors, as well as a delegation from the East Cape Sports Council led by their president, Mkhululi Magada, to ensure a free and fair election.
The AGM was exceptionally well attended, with 239 of the 258 delegates with voting rights, in attendance, many travelling in from far and wide to be there.
Once the voting process itself had been concluded, the clubs adopted the minutes of the previous AGM as well as the Annual Report and Financials, before the current executive was dissolved and the newly appointed executive was announced.
The newly elected executive are: President, Cheeky Watson; Deputy President, Phillip Jospeh; Vice President: Freddie Makoki; Finance and Marketing, Shelly Ann Baatjies; Coaching and Development, Denver Wannies; Facilities, Charles Kleinbooi and enquiries, George Malgas.
The executive were welcomed to their positions by a jubilant crowd of EP Rugby representatives.
Speaking after the AGM, Watson said his plans were to continue building on the foundations that his executive had already laid.
“We plan to take EP rugby right to the top. We planned to do that when we first came into office and it is what we will continue to strive for,” he said.
“We are extremely excited. It looks very positive, and I feel that the next few years are going to be the most exciting four years for EP Rugby yet,” he said.
Watson also extended an olive branch to the members of the EP Rugby Transformation Movement.
“It is vitally important that we embrace the opposition and that they become part of the building process going forward. We are not going to engage on all the negative stuff said in the build up to the elections,” he said.