This Women’s Month, the #RugbyUnites charity campaign headed to Cape Town, where on Saturday, 15 August the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA), Lions Rugby Captain Elton Jantjies, 2007 World Cup winning Captain John Smit and members from the Stormers squad, packed food parcels for communities in need.
They were joined by VUKA Rugby Legend, Springbok Women’s star and South Africa’s first professional female rugby player, Babalwa Latsha, along with some of her Springbok Women’s teammates and Coach, Stanley Raubenheimer. A few of SARLA’s Legends also pitched in, including Springbok Legends, Percy Montgomery, Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers and former Springbok and Stormers Captain Corne Krige, amongst others.
It all happened at SUPERSPAR Rosmead, who have donated R20,000 to the #Rubyunites initiative. All parcels will be distributed among communities that take part in SARLA’s VUKA Rugby initiative; along with Sports Stepping Stones, Unchain the Plain and Safe House Stellenbosch. In addition, MyPlayers were on-hand to donate funds to go towards some of the groceries.
Springbok and Stormers Flyhalf, Damian Willemse said, :”I don’t know of a single person whose life has remained untouched or unchanged by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially during the lockdown. But you soon realise that discomfort and frustration are relative concepts when you compare your own circumstances to that of other people who truly suffer. Significantly so. Initiatives such as this one between SARLA, Spar, MyPlayers and the Stormers could actually be the difference between life and death, between a child having to go to bed hungry and a parent being able to care for them. Every contribution makes a difference. The more contributions there are, the bigger the difference. I feel humbled and privileged to be part of this effort today, and I challenge individuals and communities to pull together for our fellow countrymen whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by this pandemic.”
VUKA Rugby is a sustainable rugby programme endorsed by SA Rugby, that is aimed at rugby development in disadvantaged communities and areas where the sport isn’t being played. The initiative brings rugby to the masses on a national level, helping young people transcend difficult circumstances through sport and scholarships to top rugby playing schools.
Sponsored by Cell C and Richmark Holdings, the #RugbyUnites initiative has distributed over 10 000 food parcels over the past 13 weeks, to various charities around the country. CEO of Cell C, Douglas Craigie Stevenson says, “In a country that is facing so many challenges at the moment, and in the true spirit of teamwork, Rugby Unites is a great reminder of what can be accomplished when people pull together to help those who need it. Cell C is proud to be on board.”
Tanya Harvey, Director of SARLA said, “It’s very fitting that we are able to celebrate Women’s Day with some of our incredible Springbok Women’s players here. There is no bigger win or achievement in our current circumstances than giving to those who need it most. We will keep Rugby Unites moving, with the continued support of our legendary Springbok Women, the Rugby Legends and rugby unions who have embraced the challenge. Thank you all for the support.
Following a challenge issued by Lions Captain Elton Jantjies, #RugbyUnites has been to five provinces throughout South Africa, aided by players from the Sharks, the Cheetahs, the Bulls, the Lions, the Southern Kings and now, the Stormers. SARLA aims to continue driving the initiative to help the communities throughout the country that have been most affected by circumstances caused by COVID-19 and encourages everyone to donate to this worthy cause.
To stay up to date with news about SARLA’s continued efforts to support local communities, follow the SA Rugby Legends on.