Johannesburg, 18 May 2020 – The South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) is, first and foremost, an advocate for the upliftment of disadvantaged communities throughout South Africa.
Through their VUKA Rugby programme and other charitable initiatives, SARLA tra-ditionally directs its efforts at enriching young people and local communities through sports development. But with all sports on hold during lockdown, SARLA members are now finding other ways to help.
SARLA’s network of Rugby Legends, players and businesses are coming together to help the needy deal with the immediate effects of COVID-19 on their livelihoods and ability to feed themselves.
SARLA leadership actively encourages everyone in their network to do their part to help fight the effects of the pandemic; and so far, many have stepped up to answer the call.
On Sunday, 17 May, at 12h30, Rugby Legends and players, John Smit, Elton Jant-jies, Joel Stransky, Warren Brosnihan and other familiar faces flexed their muscles to fill trolleys Pick n Pay, Morningside Shopping Centre.
Each player grabbed a trolley and packed it with essentials like beans, pap, and sugar, then pushed their trolleys to the car park to unload and put together food parcels. Once parcels were packed, every player took them to be handed out to needy people in their area of choice. South Africa’s Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, also arrived to lend a hand with the food parcels.
Gavin Varejes, President of SARLA and CEO of Richmark Holdings, said, “I couldn’t be prouder of how our boys have stepped up to feed our communities. And I really hope that they serve as an inspiration for others in this challenging time.
“We’ve seen our network and our sponsors come off the bench to help out in a big way to fight the effects of COVID-19. We are hopeful that we can play a part in get-ting South Africa to bounce back quickly.”
SARLA’s Rugby Legends have kept extremely busy supporting community uplift-ment this year.
- John Smit’s Epic Lockdown Ride for Food saw over 1000 cycling around their gardens to raise funds for needy communities.
- Natural soft drink brand, Lemonlicious, joined SARLA in handing over food and cooldrinks at VUKA schools in Johannesburg.
- Joel Stransky, Dave von Hoesslin and Wayne Boardman handed out food parcels around Gauteng.
- Several Rugby Legends, including SARLA CEO, Stefan Terblanche, Dick Muir and Wayne Fyvie participated in the #SparDonate challenge.
- Bizmark Du Plessis has launched an initiative making maize meal available at a highly reduced cost of R1.50.
- SARLA’s Dale Santon conducted three food drops of 250 food parcels to help over 1000 people in the Western Cape VUKA Rugby regions of Laven-der Hill, Mitchell’s Plain, Steenberg and Khayelitsha.
SARLA would like to say a special thanks to all the loyal sponsors who have made such a massive difference to these initiatives. Special thanks to Douglas Craigie Stevenson, CEO of Cell C, who was on-hand to offer support at Sunday’s trolley dash in Morningside and continues to be a loyal supporter of SARLA. And finally, thanks to Minister Lindiwe Zulu for her valued support.