With the 2015 IRB Rugby World Cup underway in England until 31 October, local supporters have been getting behind the Springboks. While Strate is also proudly joining in on the support, it has chosen to also look at how to contribute to the future of the national sport.
Strate donated to the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU’s) Rugby Foundation’s Academy Programme, giving a player the opportunity to study at university or a technical institution with simultaneous rugby specific training.
Junior Pokomela, a SARU Academies player who plays in a loose forward position, will receive the Strate bursary. He matriculated at Grey High School, Port Elizabeth, in 2014 and participated in both the South African schools Rugby 2014 and the SARU Kings Academy. Pokomela is currently completing a Diploma in Management (NQF Level 6).
Strate, along with other donors, is playing a crucial role in assisting SARU to select and nurture our next generation of stars to follow graduates such as, Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, J P Pietersen and Pat Lambie – all players whose world-class skills were developed under the auspices of the Academy.
According to Hans Scriba, the spokesperson for the Academy, there are limited resources to give every player an opportunity and a broad base of donors are needed to give more players leaving high-school the opportunity to develop their skills, as well as their studies. This allows them to not only sit with a good rugby pedigree, but also with a degree or a diploma that enables them to secure a job as well.
At Strate, it is in the company’s DNA to proudly live beyond a bottom-line approach, giving back to society. Education is close to the company’s heart and it believes the SARU bursary will create sustainable value, offering an individual an opportunity to develop and make an economic contribution, with the added potential of developing his sporting talent enough to enable him to achieve his rugby dreams as well.
SARU aims to reach a target of 90 players throughout South Africa in 2015 as a result of the donations. It wants to create a sustainable system of excellence for talented 18 – 22 year old rugby players in South Africa to achieve their goal of becoming world class professionals – on and off the field. The emphasis is on producing well-rounded leaders for the future and the three year course will include life-skills training as well as nutrition and health courses under the constant supervision of trained SARU personnel.
Players will be able to choose the vocational or educational course best suited to their specific aptitudes, which will be provided free of charge. On completion of the three-year Academy course, graduates will have the skills and capabilities to pursue a professional rugby career and, importantly, will also have achieved a tertiary diploma or degree.
Monica Singer with Hans Scriba