By Ross Roche
Rural rugby development is taking centre-stage this weekend when a South African Rural Rugby Development clinic is held at Lilyfontein School on Saturday morning.
Rural rugby development is taking centre-stage this weekend when a South African Rural Rugby Development clinic is held at Lilyfontein School on Saturday morning. Picture FILE
Kids from across the region have been invited to take part in the morning of rugby action, with 100 budding rural boy and girl players expected, along with six rural coaches from the area to spend a fun-filled morning learning the game of rugby.
“Our aim is to develop and support coaches into all communities by empowering them with jobs, providing a professional service of skills transfer to rural schools throughout Eastern Cape,” explained event organiser and head of Rugby Pro Academy, Robbie du Rand.
Saturday’s clinic will take place from 9am to 11.30am and a number of high-ranking sport officials from the region are expected to be in attendance as well as two project managers from Johannesburg to help introduce the initiative in the Eastern Cape.
“The South African Rural Development programme (SARRDP) was started two years ago in Johannesburg through the Valke Rugby Union and has ballooned from 300 children to 5000 children,” said Du Rand.
“The programme also empowers coaches with jobs and support to go into the rural areas and coach at the schools who are unable to afford good coaches, equipment and expertise.”
Part of the programme would be to run a competition between all the schools in 2018, and this would allow the Rugby Pro Academy to look at giving children a better standard of coaching, and opportunity in education in the form of potential bursaries from schools and tertiary institutions, namely ETA College.
“SARRDP has given Rugby Pro Academy the endorsement to run the SARRDP programme in Eastern Cape and support the academy to provide support to coaches and children in the communities to provide a professional and efficient service,” said Du Rand.
“Part of the programme is to support Border Rugby Union in their ability to produce better rugby players and support their aims to bring success back to Border rugby.
“The academy is also focused on keeping our talented players within the Border region.”
Running parallel to the SARRDP programme, Rugby Pro Academy will provide a full service to all children starting at six years of age, with World Rugby’s “Get Into Rugby”, and then expand to work with SA Legends and SA Rugby to improve the ability and skills of the children including club level in the Eastern Cape within the urban areas and schools.
ETA College has affiliated itself with Rugby Pro Academy and will provide a tertiary education once the athlete completes Grade 12 and has the ability to now stay in East London, and train through ETA College.
The academy will also offer a full conditioning programme for athletes starting at 10 years old and building a stronger, healthier, more focused athlete run by Active Attitude’s Mike McLaughlin.
This will include mental preparation, goal setting and other requirements and life skills that can develop the athlete not just for rugby, but for life.
“Our motto is direct and simple. Nurturing and developing our future generation, and the Academy will focus on not only rugby, but life skills to develop the child with respect, discipline, positive attitude, teamwork and learning to use their mind to achieve any goal they set their mind on achieving,” added Du Rand.
“Rugby Pro Academy is opening its doors to any sponsors or corporate companies interested in assisting to build a successful and sustainable business to provide a service to our communities and children.
“We are able to provide several marketing opportunities to the company or companies who come on board.”
For more information on the clinic and the academy you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Robbie du Rand on 0607399507.