Following a challenge issued by the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) and the Lions Rugby Union, the #RugbyUnites charity campaign made its way to the Free State, where the Free State Cheetahs took up the challenge on Sunday, 5 July from 12h30 at SPAR in Langenhoven.

SARLA President Gavin Varejes and Lions Captain Elton Jantjies joined members of the Cheetahs team to shop and put together food parcels for local families in need. Cell C Chief Executive Officer Douglas Craigie-Stevenson and SARLA Trustee and World Cup Winning Captain John Smit were also on-site pitching in. This officially expanded the Rugby Unites challenge beyond the borders of the Gauteng Province for the first time, as the initiative keeps gaining momentum.

Douglas Craigie-Stevenson says, “This is a time when big brands must step up to address the crisis so many poor South Africans face because of circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Rugby Unites serves as an example of how we should be pulling together at community level, because that is where it is really necessary at this time. And we can do that, not just as organisations, but in our individual capacities, too.”

Gavin Varejes says, “Thanks to the Cheetahs for taking up the challenge in this difficult time. Lockdown has had devastating effects on many families and as the country is swept by the bitter cold, the nourishment is needed more than ever.”

Cheetahs Head Coach Hawies Fourie said, “We want to thank the SA Rugby Legends Association for a great initiative. It’s a privilege to be part of it and to have the opportunity to make a difference in our community. The Lockdown gave all of us time to reflect about what’s really important in life. To help people in need is definitely on top of the list”.

Cheetahs Captain Tian Meyer was also be on-hand, motivating his squad and pitching in to pack food parcels for poor communities in and around Langenhoven. Once the parcels are packed, they will be distributed by the Be the Difference Foundation. Tian says,” I feel that It’s a great initiative during these difficult times. I think that this is good for us as a team and company to stand together along with other unions to help out those in need. During this time, we all need to unite and support others wherever possible as we all know that every little bit helps”.

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