A big hello to all our SA Rugby Legends (SARLA) members and a welcome to our first ever newsletter.

SARLA are quickly getting back to business after a very difficult two years of Covid. We will be releasing a quarterly newsletter and our aim is that this will bring our rugby community closer together and make everyone aware of what we do and how we can hopefully help you, the ex-players and the game of rugby in our beautiful country. A SA Rugby Legend is anyone who has played top level provincial or franchise rugby and would like to give back to the game and their communities.

I am John Smit and have humbly taken the reigns as CEO of SARLA, Gavin Varejes is still our hero and President! 2022 is the 21st birthday for SARLA and Gavin has been President for the full 21 years so a massive congrats to SARLA and Gavin. We will be celebrating in style with a Gala Dinner in Johannesburg on the 8th of October, please see the invite attached. We would also like to thank our amazing sponsor Cell C who have been a tower of support over the last decade. We will be distributing a shortened version of this letter via our social media platforms so if you are a front row forward look out for that. Please can you share this with anyone you think may be interested.

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There are essentially two arms to SARLA, on the one side we have our rugby development programmes, where we train upwards of 30 000 boys and girls in disadvantaged communities to pick up the ball and play the great game of rugby. It’s probably a good time to congratulate one of our old boys Zain Davids, on winning gold at the Commonwealth games.

On the other side of SARLA is our eventing and ex-players section where we fundraise for the game of rugby via golf days, dinners, cycling events, coaching clinics, rugby unites feeding programs (a big thanks to SA Harvest and The Domino Foundation), adopt a school and a lot more. If you would like to help in any way, please contact us on info@sarugbylegends.com.

Like many businesses under Covid we have had major budget cuts and are looking at additional avenues to generate revenue to maintain our various rugby programmes. Funding usually received for these has been cut for three years now and this has restricted us from getting to the kids that need us the most and sadly not developing the game as we would like. If you know anyone or any business that may be interested in supporting SARLA please contact us?

Upcoming Events

We help with rugby fundraising initiatives all over the country and really appreciate your help, so if you are in any of these areas please come by and say hi or even better, contact Terence Chapman terence@sarugbylegends.com and come join us?

  • Muir College 200th Anniversary 5th-7th of August. There will be a coaching clinic, Legend’s game and dinner in the Eastern Cape.
  • Stilbaai 19th – 20th August. A golf day, coaching clinic and dinner in Stilbaai.
  • Winterton/Drakensburg Rugby Club weekend, 2nd- 3rd of September where we will be playing a Legends game, some golf and doing a coaching clinic for some local kids.
  • 23rd September FNB Legends Long Lunch at The Baron in Umhlanga, Durban. The day before the Springbok v Argentina Test Match.
  • 8th October 2022 where we are celebrating SA Rugby Legends 21st birthday at the Sandton Convention with Foreigner playing live. Tickets are still available so please contact tanya@richmark.co.za if you would like to book a table or know anyone who would like to book.

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SA Rugby Legends have recently joined forces with REBOOT. REBOOT is an organization that assists recently retired professional sportsmen and women cope with the changes and challenges that come with retirement. We have secured preferential pricing for all SARLA members so If you are interested in finding out more, please go onto www.rebootforlife.io or email Tom Bednall tom@reboot.coach so hopefully “Retirement is not seen as the end, but just as a new beginning”.

There is also a SA Rugby Legends helpline that will put you in touch with a registered psychologist if you feel that you need to speak to someone, the number is 076 349 3409. Please note that this number is shared with MyPlayers and is available 24/7.

We are working closely with MyPlayers (SA players’ organisation) to try and extend current players benefits once they retire through SARLA. This hopefully will allow SARLA members to continue getting discounts and preferential pricing on many of the benefits that current players enjoy. We will report back on this in our next newsletter.

We also have a ‘BOOK A LEGEND’ service where we offer ex-players to corporates to perform speaking engagements. Please contact Terence Chapman at terence@sarugbylegends.com if you are interested in offering your services.

Please be in touch and we look forward to working with you to make SARLA and rugby better in our great country, feel free to share this with as people as possible and we hope to see you at a SARLA function in the near future.

As always, a privilege to chat with you legends and thank you for giving back to the game that gave us so much!!!

John Smit

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