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Get ready for the highly anticipated ninth edition of the Hollywood Foundation iQhawe Week, a prestigious development rugby tournament set to take place from 2 to 5 October 2023.

Set for Jeppe High School in Gauteng, this week-long extravaganza brings together U15 boys and girls from across the country to showcase their raw talent.

Organised by the Hollywood Foundation in partnership with the legendary Cell C SA Rugby Legends and the South African Rugby Union, this event promises a memorable experience filled with passion, skill and thrilling moments.

The Hollywood Foundation iQhawe Week has firmly established itself as one of South Africa’s premier platforms for nurturing young rugby stars. The 2022 edition of the tournament saw Boland emerging victorious against Western Province in an exhilarating game that surpassed expectations in terms of rugby quality and skills demonstrated by both teams. This year’s tournament will witness an electrifying showdown as 16 boys’ teams and six girls’ teams set the field ablaze with their extraordinary skills, unwavering passion, and indomitable spirit.

Originating from Cape Town in September 2013, iQhawe Week emerged as a groundbreaking joint venture between the Cell C SA Rugby Legends and the South African Rugby Union. Its core objective was to create an inclusive pathway for players from diverse backgrounds, including new, introductory, small, rural, lower-league, and non-traditional rugby schools. By providing them with an equal opportunity to participate in a tournament of national stature akin to the renowned National Craven Week and Grant Khomo Weeks, iQhawe Week has become a pivotal stepping stone for aspiring rugby stars.

Throughout the years, iQhawe Week has produced an illustrious list of alumni who have gone on to achieve remarkable success in the world of rugby including Mawande Mdanda. Many players have advanced to represent their provinces, earned scholarships to prestigious rugby schools, and even pursued higher education while participating in the esteemed Varsity Cup. The 2022 Hollywood Foundation iQhawe Week saw an impressive 20 players secure scholarships to traditional rugby schools, highlighting the transformative impact of the tournament.

For the second consecutive year, the Hollywood Foundation assumes the role of the tournament’s main sponsor, affirming its unwavering commitment to grassroots development and building a bright future for South Africa’s sporting talent. The games will be available on SuperSport Schools’ App.

Devin Heffer, Brand and Communications Manager at Hollywoodbets, expressed the Hollywood Foundation’s enthusiasm, stating, “Sports Development is one of the major pillars of the Hollywood Foundation. We believe that by investing in talent at an early age at grassroots levels, it sets these young athletes up for greatness later in life. As the Hollywood Foundation, we are excited to return for our second year sponsoring the iQhawe Week.

“Not only does this week give these players a chance to experience a professional environment for the first time, it also provides an opportunity for a more skilled training experience, and most importantly, a greater economic relief for their families. The increase in participation this year with more boys’ and girls’ teams is extremely encouraging, and we look forward to witnessing the future of South African rugby across an action-packed week at Jeppe High School.”

John Smit, CEO of the Cell C SA Rugby Legends, shared his excitement about the upcoming event, stating that they are ecstatic to have the Hollywood Foundation back on board for the second year as the principal sponsor of the 2023 Hollywood Foundation iQhawe week.

“This support has allowed us to grow even bigger, with 16 boys’ and six girls’ teams participating in 2023, allowing even more talented young rugby players to shine.

“The Cell C SA Rugby Legends are all about using rugby to make our country a better place and the Hollywood Foundation iQhawe week is one of our flagship programmes, providing a pathway from grassroots rugby through to the SA u20 team as we see currently with Mawande Mdanda.

“If you get a chance, I suggest that you get on down to Jeppe High School between 2 and 5 of October and watch the action live. We are extremely grateful to our main sponsor the Hollywood Foundation and associate sponsors, the City of Johannesburg, the Gauteng Government, SA Rugby, Jeppe High School, and the Lions Rugby Union for all their support.

“We can’t wait to see the future ‘Legends’ in action,” he said.

The Opening Ceremony for the tournament will take place on Thursday, 28 September 2023, at Ellis Park Stadium at 12:00.