Celebrated annually worldwide on the 18th July, Mandela Day honours our icon Nel-son Mandela, inspiring us all to get involved and assist with the creation of positive change within our communities.
The South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA), founded in 2001, is a regis-tered non-profit company (NPC) with two complimentary objectives, that of the devel-opment of rugby at a grassroots level and secondly, supporting the needs and interests of our country’s rugby legends.
To date, SARLA has achieved immense success through their VUKA Rugby Develop-ment Programme, now in its 10th anniversary year. Mandela Day 2019 was thus the perfect opportunity for SARLA to align their objectives and contribute to the positive de-velopment of future rugby talent.
Yesterday, Mandela Day witnessed a powerful initiative as a direct result of the action of the relationship between Boots for Africa (B4A) and current Australian rugby hero, David Pocock.
Boots for Africa (B4A) is an Australian based NPC organisation that collects pre‐loved football boots and delivers them to children and young adults across Africa. Founded in 2011 by Sarah Gardner, the B4A charity is focused on achieving its goal of making sport accessible to young people in developing nations. In addition, B4A works hard to develop the skill and fitness levels of disadvantaged children, enabling many opportu-nities for them to experience the power of team games such as soccer, rugby, AFL and touch.
In the lead-up to Mandela Day, B4A’s South African office, run by Gavin Hendry, suc-ceeded in raising funds to purchase 112 pairs of rugby boots with the generous assis-tance of Puma. Additionally, rugby hero David Pocock revealed his support for SARLA, with his big-hearted donation of over 200 rugby balls.
Yesterday saw SARLA CEO, Stefan Terblanche, participate in the official handover of both the rugby balls and boots at Kwa-Bhekilanga Stadium to representatives from schools in the Alexandra community, all of whom participate in the VUKA Rugby De-velopment Programme.
Stefan Terblanche, SARLA CEO, said of the day’s activities “Our Mandela Day event at Alexandra’s Kwa-Bhekilanga Stadium was a clear indication of our heartfelt commit-ment to supporting the growth and transformation of rugby and epitomised the values and great work that SARLA’s legends continues to do.” Terblanche added that “We feel so fortunate to have been able to hold this event on such an important date, inspiring and impacting the lives of our youth.”
Terblanche, on behalf of SARLA, took the opportunity at the event to express their grat-itude and appreciation to Kwa-Bhekilanga Stadium for the use of their facility for the handover and coaching clinic. In addition, Terblanche made special mention to B4A’s Gavin Hendry, David Pocock and Puma for their incredibly generous contributions, saying that “Their efforts and generosity proved the strength of their love for rugby and its ability to inspire and transform so many young lives in the same way that we, as SARLA, do when we identify an opportunity such as this.”
For more information or to donate your old boots and sports equipment to B4A (Balls for Africa) to help build communities and the social understanding of the power of rugby as a game for change please reach out here: