Hare living his dream at Bulls
Pretoria - Eugene Hare started his dream job on May 15 as the Blue Bulls Rugby Union’s CEO and now more than a 100 days later, the former Leopards captain reflects on the experiences, challenges and rewards of working for one of South Africa’s top unions.
“It was always my dream to be part of a successful franchise because of the greater challenges involved. I was extremely impressed to see that structures were in place and working at the BBRU. Although we are responsible for amateur rugby we have to be professional in everything that we do.”
Hare embraced the new challenges and responsibilities at the Blue Bulls Rugby Union and says it was easy to adapt to the new structures and environment. One of his biggest tests has been taking over a tight budget that has to manage all requests.
“There were some outstanding challenges from the previous year that needed to be managed along with having to manage the club leagues and competitions. There are always regulations to adhere to but it was easy to streamline decisions.”
One of Hare’s primary objectives is to elevate the status of club and schools rugby in the Blue Bulls and Limpopo regions, a project that is extremely demanding and challenging.
“There is clearly a need for stronger clubs to have competitive games on a weekly basis so we’re looking into the possibility of a Gauteng Club League whereby the Bulls, Lions and Valke would play each other. Other clubs could be invited to make the league more competitive but financial resources need to be explored and the clubs would also need support. We need to pay particular attention to our Under-19s and Under-21s who willl be nurtured to represent their clubs in the not-so-distant future.”
With rugby his main priority, Hare has already tasted success in the junior structures.
“We have an abundance of talent at SA schools level in various age groups from Under-12s to Under-18s, our juniors have been successful as well and two Bulls clubs will be competing at the National Club Championships. And, our amateur men’s and women’s teams have been doing extremely well in their respective competitions which bodes well for our union and our junior structures.”
Due to constraints in finance, resources and facilities, development programmes have not taken off as Hare would have liked.
“We are currently busy with a few very successful projects and we will nurture these to ensure rugby excellence which will no doubt change the lives of these youngsters. They are so keen to play rugby, so it is our responsibility to provide these opportunities for them. Apart from the usual challenges, we also need to have qualified coaches and administrators.”
Limpopo Far North lost its provincial status a number of years ago and has since then been incorporated into the Blue Bulls Rugby Union’s structures.
Describing the state of affairs in Limpopo Far North as “an old car standing under a tree for some time,” Hare says it’s imperative to manage that which is available and to get the structures in place.
“It will be a huge challenge to compete in the Vodacom Cup because their opponents are mostly professional players. There is also the question of available training facilities. These are just some of the hurdles Limpopo needs to overcome but we are confident we can get them back on the right track, especially because their Under-19 and Under-21 teams will be easier to manage based on the talent pool available.”
Hare says opportunities should be made available to all players irrespective of colour and that facilities must be provided for all players, coaches and administrators.
“Identifying and developing talent is a costly and time consuming affair and we simply don’t have enough well-equipped and trained coaches to do this job effectively. I think we need more scientific programmes to ensure future success. The talent is available, we just need to manage it professionally.”
The BBRU CEO oozes optimism and enthusiasm about his current and upcoming projects.
“My goal for the BBRU is for it to be the best managed union in South Africa in a financially healthy state. My dream is to see our amateur teams competing like the pros and to ensure that we always have a healthy and competitive club structure.”