Cape Town - The South African Rugby
Legends (SARLA) were deeply moved by a recent Facebook post by a Maritzburg College
Old Boy, Michael Bennett, who himself had just experienced an event which once
again illustrated the inspiring ability of rugby to transform our country.
Bennett, performing medical duties at Maritzburg College, had just watched an
exciting match between Maritzburg College’s Mighty 10th Rugby Team
and Hilton College when he noticed some unusual activity taking place on the
field between College’s U16C team and a local development team, Nyonithwele Secondary School from Edendale in Pietermartizburg, coached by Lion Mduduzi.
A heart-warming story, Bennett watched
how, when it became obvious to Maritzburg College’s Mighty 10th
Rugby Team, that some of the development team players entering the field did
not own boots, they lent them theirs without hesitation.
SARLA picked up on
this beautiful act of humility and display of true sportsmanship and
immediately put out a call on social media for assistance and support.
resulted in support from PUMA in the form of boots and SARLA contributed
jerseys in addition to the offer of free eye testing and support for all
players by Execuspecs, Westville Mall.
Stefan Terblanche, CEO, SARLA, said: “An event
such as this epitomises the very essence of our values and the great work our
legends continue to do, hand in hand with SA Rugby in supporting both the
growth and the transformation of rugby across our beautiful country.”
2019 celebrates the 10th anniversary
milestone of SARLA's Rugby Development initiative, VUKA. Today the programme is
a well-established and joint grassroots developmental initiative between SARLA
and SA Rugby. The VUKA programme has made great strides in the promotion of
rugby in non-traditional rugby playing schools and in disadvantaged areas and
is a key contributor to the transformation of rugby across South Africa.
Established in 2008 in the Western Cape with just
3 participating schools, today VUKA has grown exponentially. Reaching over 478
schools in 11 of the 14 official SA Rugby Unions across South Africa, with more
than 300 committed coaches, the programme is embraced by Rugby Unions which
include the Western Province, South Western Districts, Eastern Province,
Griffons, Griquas, Lions, Bulls, Leopards, Falcons, KZN and Free State Rugby
Forming part of SA Rugby's national development
objectives, VUKA receives their full support and endorsement, reaching both
boys and girls between the ages of 15-19. This ensures that our youth receive
the positive benefits of regular coaching sessions which provide essential life
lessons, both on and off the field. In addition, the programme provides extensive
scouting opportunities to ensure that players with talent are selected for
various rugby events throughout the year.
In event such as this is a proud indication of
the success of the development of rugby in our country to date and a major
reason for SARLA’s initial founding by Gavin Varejes, SARLA’s President.
Through the support of our rugby Legends, SA Rugby and our many corporate
sponsors, we are able to fulfil our mission, impacting the lives of so many of
This beautiful story garnered the support of
leading sportwear brand PUMA, securing 30 pairs of boots, in addition to
jerseys from SARLA and eye testing and support from Execuspecs. Further, SARLA
will ensure a further donation of balls and cones to the development team.
Terblanche said: “When I shared this story with
some of the legends, they expressed their immense pride for the work we do to
develop and transform rugby in South Africa. We are so fortunate to be inspired
by our work which impacts the lives of so many young South Africans” adding, “We
thank Michael Bennett and Zola Mazwi for bringing this story to light and hope
that all of those who love rugby as much as we do and believe in its ability to
transform lives will take action in the same way when they spot the