CAPE TOWN – Nine Junior Springbok stars were among the half-century of emerging young players who were taught a thing or two by REF (the Rugby Education Foundation) in 2018 after winning education bursaries through the SA Rugby-run programme.
Junior Springbok prop Alulutho Tshakweni (Sports Management) and centre Rikus Pretorius (Sports Administration and Coaching) were among a handful of SA Under-20 players who were REF bursary recipients, with the group also including Xerox Golden Lions flanker Mandisi Mthiyane (Marketing Management).
They formed part of the SA Rugby Academy Programme which aims to balance formal education with high performance training and player welfare. The foundation, which was launched in October 2015 thanks to the vital support from corporates, have assisted over 100 players with bursaries to date.
The recipients are identified in consultation with scouts, school coaches, provincial rugby unions, as well as SA Rugby high performance staff. Given the success of the programme to date, the aim for 2019 is to assist 75 players with education bursaries.
“Education is the backbone of society, and when one combines this with sport, we are able to develop and uplift the youth of South Africa and make an impact,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.