Ex-Bok giving back to the game

2015-01-27 16:30
Adi Jacobs (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok centre Adi Jacobs is enjoying life after rugby as he's encouraging disadvantaged schoolchildren to play sport.

Planning life after rugby plays a big part during a player's career. They will have to study or network to ensure there will be business and employment opportunities once they decide to retire.

Jacobs enjoyed a successful career, which saw him play 34 Tests for the Springboks, while he represented the Bulls, Cats and Sharks during a 13-year professional career.

So what has he been up to since retiring in 2011?

Jacobs currently works for the Western Cape sports department, in a role which sees him visiting disadvantaged schools all over the region. He gets to spend time with many youngsters, trying to encourage and motivate them to play sport, specifically rugby.

After his first year in the role, he said he's enjoying the experience.

"It's been a rewarding experience. I love introducing so many kids to a game that has played a big part of my life," Jacobs told "I come from a tough area too, so I'm hoping I can motivate these kids to follow my footsteps and use sport to pursue a better life.

"It is difficult sometimes. Some kids know who I am, but many don't because they haven't watched the game. Some haven't even played with a rugby ball before. Some kids come from difficult backgrounds where they don't have a mom or they don't have a dad... or where they don't have any parents at all. And that's not easy.

"But once I get these kids to play rugby, it's so great seeing them enjoy it. Seeing the smile is amazing. I feel good, knowing for that moment of time, they aren't thinking about the hardships in their life, but they're enjoying sport.

"It also encourages discipline, which is a problem among the kids. The first rule I teach is the back-pass rule, and it's good to see these kids following the rule when they run with the ball. They make sure they pass backwards!"

Jacobs will slowly move into a managing role as he'll start training coaches in different areas. He said this is all part of a long-term plan.

"I really want to make a difference in our communities, and sport can be used as a tool to bring positivity to so many lives," said Jacobs. "One of the major goals would be seeing one of these kids excelling in rugby, going on to play provincial rugby, and maybe even Springbok rugby.

"We all know this won't be an overnight development. It will take years. But if we can find that 11-year-old with major potential, nurture his talent and give him guidance, who knows what could happen."

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