Tag Archives: South Africa

Lifesaving South Africa President Dylan Tommy confirmed the appointment of Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco as Patron of Lifesaving South Africa, at an event held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, in Umhlanga, Durban on Wednesday 26th July 2017.

“It is a great honour for me to be named Patron of Lifesaving South Africa, an organization that shares the same vision as my Foundation and one that I have always been inspired by. Lifesaving South Africa’s commitment to drowning prevention is remarkable and the spirit of volunteering that you are instilling in our young people is infectious,” said HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco (Formerly Charlene Wittstock).

The Princess discovered her passion for the water and dedicated 20 years of her life to become an Olympic swimmer, representing South Africa in the Sydney Olympics in 2000. “During those years, I learnt the importance of discipline, team spirit, dedication and respect for the water, oneself and others; values that I know LSA lifeguards appreciate and demonstrate every day,” continued the Princess.

The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation was established in 2012 and has since reached over 300,000 people worldwide, with operations being established here in South Africa in 2013. The work of the Foundation is internationally acknowledged and celebrated for raising public awareness about the dangers of water, teaching children essential water safety skills and how to swim.

The partnership between the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa and Lifesaving South Africa will strengthen the promotion of water safety and support ‘learn to swim’ projects in South Africa.

Lifesaving South Africa’s Watersmart program is a classroom based educational water safety program developed to complement the current Grade 4 Life Skills curriculum. The program, presented by Lifesaving SA Watersmart facilitators will, during the course of 2017, be delivered free of charge to over 80 schools nationwide.

Mr. Gavin Varejes, President of The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA, also announced the distribution of 200 rescue boards, valued in excess of R2mil from the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA to Lifesaving SA, with thanks to Cell C and Richmark Holdings. This will see every LSA affiliated lifesaving club in South Africa receiving rescue boards to continue their critical service to the community.

Varejes, synonymous for his generosity and support of the SA Surfing Legends and President of SA Rugby Legends, said “the new partnership will hopefully continue to encourage different sporting codes to work together and form the bonds, strengths and partnerships that make such a wonderful difference in our Country.”

“Cell C endorses this initiative in growing an awareness around water safety in South Africa and deems it a great privilege to be associated with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA”, says Doug Mattheus, Head of Marketing at Cell C.

Lifesaving South Africa President Dylan Tommy and SASCOC President Gideon Sam both expressed gratitude to HSH Princess Charlene and Mr. Varejes for their contribution to raising the profile of Lifesaving in South Africa, both on a social level and as a sport. Dylan Tommy said “we are extremely grateful to HSH Princess Charlene for agreeing to serve as the Patron for Lifesaving South Africa. With the Princess as our Patron and the partnership we have established with The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA, we will be able to achieve far greater success in our fight against drowning in South Africa”.

In 2017, Continental Tyre SA, by way of its General Tire brand, committed to a three-year investment and sponsorship of Lifesaving SA, and its Product Communications Manager Ryan Visagie applauded the contributions of Varejes and corporate heavyweights Richmark and Cell C.

“It sends a great message to Corporate South Africa to get involved with saving lives. You can’t put a price on saving a life and it’s fantastic to see the investment in Lifesaving as a result of the partnership with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation SA,” said Ryan Visagie, Continental Tyre SA.

SASCOC president Gideon Sam said “it was noted that the Princess gives so much to the country she grew up in, but also so importantly to the serious issue of water safety and water education.” He described her as “an inspiration to the global community and a particularly special South African.”

The inspirational life of Nelson Mandela forms the basis for an extraordinary art col-lection that show cases the story of a deeply-beloved South African icon. On the 3rd of May 2017, The Lookout events and function venue in Cape Town was privileged to present a single private viewing of this collection, namely John Meyer’s “Mandela: A Life’s Journey”. The exhibition was hosted by Andrew and Jeanne Dunn in support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and allowed guests to enjoy the powerful and thought-provoking artworks before the collection embarked on an international tour that includes some of the artistic capitals of the world.

The series is on loan from a private collection owned by Andrew Dunn, CEO of Richmark Holdings, and each of the 16 pieces are works of acrylic on canvas. Dunn commissioned the series from renowned South African artist John Meyer, whom he considers to be one of South Africa’s greatest living artists. The series took three years to complete and the result was a heart-warming and descriptive look at Madi-ba’s life. The private viewing resulted from the recognised need to show off the magnificent art pieces to South Africans before the world tour begins. According to Dunn, “John is a living legend who has painted for the Queen of England, Paul Allen of Microsoft and many more world and business leaders. Thus, choosing him to help fulfil my dream of owning a collection based on the life of Nelson Mandela was an easy decision.”

For Meyer, Nelson Mandela’s rare and universal influence challenged him to raise his game and reach new levels artistically. Meyer explains of his work, “I want to ex-plore the private world of people’s lives, the enigmatic unexplained and hidden emo-tions.” Having met Mandela on several occasions, Meyer has always been struck by his saintliness and the fact that he has served as a rallying point for all the world’s dispossessed. He did, however, try to avoid politics in the series, aiming rather to capture Mandela’s humanity.

It is also intended that photographs of the artworks will be published in book format as well as separate prints, with the proceeds going to The Nelson Mandela Founda-tion to support its valuable work.

Drowning is a silent killer, the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury deaths across the world. The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation works tirelessly to save children from death and injury from drowning. On the 21st of April 2017, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene hosted an exclusive cocktail function in Sandton to personally speak on behalf of her Foundation and engage guests on the importance of its work. Many prestigious South African personalities attended the function and some of South Africa’s most highly-regarded athletes spoke about the work that the Foundation does.

The Foundation was created to raise public awareness about the dangers of wa-ter, teach children preventive measures, and teach them to swim. According to the World Health Organisation, in 2012 approximately 372 000 people died from drowning, making drowning a major public health problem worldwide. Children, particularly in low and middle-income countries, are at the highest risk of drown-ing. Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene is passionate about using her posi-tion as a platform to promote water safety and reduce this serious threat to public health.

 

Francois Pienaar, Ryk Neethling, Lizette Botha and Dominique Donner all spoke on the work of the Foundation across the country. Princess Charlene also gave a touching speech on how the Foundation is committed to saving lives. According to Her Serene Highness, “Here in South Africa, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death after road accidents." She adds, “We can save so many lives, simply by teaching people essential water safety skills and how to swim and by focusing on one person, one family, one community at a time.”

Gavin Varejes, President of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa, includes, “By working with children in underprivileged areas, who are at greater risk, to teach them about water safety, the Foundation is ensuring that fewer senseless deaths from drowning occur. These children can go on to live healthy and fulfilled lives, and that is key to the future of our country.” In South Africa alone, the Foundation’s three programmes reached the following number of people in 2016: Learn to Swim – 2 507 people; Water Safety – 27 242 people and Sport & Education – 467 people.

Her Serene Highness has also been active at several South African events during her stay. She visited Gugulesizwe Primary School on Friday the 21st of April to meet with staff and children there, as a follow up to her visit in 2012 when she donated a vegetable garden to the school. The thriving garden now helps to feed the community. As part of her visit Princess Charlene, who is also a Patron of the Red Cross, worked with the Red Cross SA to give teachers and children who function as the head of their households a lesson in essential first aid and CPR to help them protect their family and friends. Acting Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Cllr Lesiba Mpya, and the Mayoress, Mrs Sinazo Masina attended the event and generously provided lunch for the 900 school children as well as the staff and guests.

On Saturday, the inaugural Princess Charlene Ladies Day was held at Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg. This charity race day was created to benefit three worthwhile associations through a first-class sporting event for the public to enjoy and featured a raffle prize of an exquisite diamond pendant sponsored by Petra Diamonds. The charities supported by this event were the Red Cross, Gugu-lisizwe Primary School and the Highveld Horse Care Unit. There were two maiden plate races on the day and the Empress Palace Stakes, each of which carried the name of Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene. After the incredible success of the day, it is hoped that this racing event will become one of the most highly an-ticipated events on the Gauteng social calendar, with an increasing number of needy organisations benefiting from the initiative.

For more information on the Foundation please go to http://www.fondationprincessecharlene.mc/en

32 South African surfers. One day. And incredible waves at one of the world’s finest beach breaks, New Pier in Durban. All of these ingredients combine to create a unique surf contest, the Cell C Goodwave surfing event, which is presented by South African Surfing Legends and sanctioned by the World Surf League as a spe-cialty event. The event is a different take on traditional surfing tournaments and is one of the most eagerly-awaited events on the SA surfing calendar.

The Cell C Goodwave contest is invite-only, and 32 South African surfers and 32 al-ternates have been invited to participate. They will compete against each other in four-man heats in a sudden death format until only one winner is left standing, to claim R100 000 in prize money. It’s an adrenaline-packed day that showcases high-performance surfing and celebrates the talent of these exceptional athletes and the surfers that have been invited to participate are an exciting mix of established SA names and new surfing talent.

To make the competition even more intense, the event is only held when organisers and weather experts have determined that conditions will be ideal for big swells. On-ly once the forecast looks promising is the event green-lit, and athletes are called a mere 48 hours in advance to notify them to gather for the big day. The waiting peri-od for the 2017 event opened on 1 February 2017 and the anticipation is building.

Barry Wolins, a legendary South African surfer, founded the event as a straightfor-ward, all-out contest that focuses on the surfers and is designed to challenge tech-nical ability, stamina and sheer determination. His passion for surfing began 44 years ago and through his association with South African Surfing Legends, he is helping to inspire, mentor and develop South African surfing talent for future genera-tions. SA Surfing Legends believes that the rich knowledge and dedication to the sport shared by SA surfing greats can be harnessed to help promote the sport and encourage young athletes to do SA proud. According to Gavin Varejes, South Afri-can Surfing Legends’ number one fan and Executive Advisor, “True legends don’t just perform athletically, they also give back and make a difference. SA Surfing Leg-ends keeps the SA flag flying proudly and promotes the local surf scene. The amaz-ing Cell C Goodwave event is one example of this and it is a competition of the high-est calibre.”

For more information on the event go to www.thegoodwave.co.za

tribute to jooste

Businessman Gavin Varejes, who heads the SA Rugby Legend Association, delivered a moving eulogy at the memorial service for South African legend Joost van der Westhuizen, who after a long battle, finally succumbed to motor neuron disease.

What does rugby mean to you?

Rugby isn't a sport, it's a brotherhood. It brings together different cultures, races and personalities with one common goal, to get a result after 80 minutes. For this, players sacrifice life and limb and in the process learn more about themselves and their darkest fears, like losing, facing a hostile crowd and disappointment in not only losing a tough game, but also letting your teammates and yourself down.

When and why did you set up the SA Rugby Legends?

The SA Rugby Legends Association was started in 2001 as an "old boys club" for provincial and professional players who still wanted to belong and give back to the game.

What did you hope to achieve with it?

The transition from professional rugby to life after rugby is brutal. If SARLA can make this process easier for ex-players and grow the base of rugby players at grassroots level, it is doing its job. We focus on rugby development and also the wellbeing of the ex-players after rugby.

Describe your relationship with Joost van der Westhuizen

Joost and I had a very open and honest relationship. He was the captain of the SA Rugby Legends and a hero in our country. He was also the tequila king! Off the field and after the party, we were helping transform his sporting skills to a business skill.

Joost was working at one of the companies in our group. In early 2011, I called him in and had concerns that he had been drinking because he was slurring his words and I noticed that his gait was unsteady. He was quite offended and assured me that he hadn't. I thought that he must've been partying too hard and it persisted. I think it really worried him as well.

And then, early in April 2011, he was told that he had 18 to 24 months to live. He was devastated and told me he had motor neuron disease and it was incurable. We cried together, he then got up and walked out. We never cried again together.

What and when was your first interaction with him?

The first time I met Joost, was a few years after the 1995 Rugby World Cup when I got the World Cup captains together, including David Kirk, Nick Farr Jones and Francois Pienaar in 1998. My initial motivation was to unite people and players through sport. Joost was one of the players who put his hand up to make a difference.

Describe Joost as a rugby player.

Joost was one of a kind and well ahead of his time. If you wanted to play against him, you had to play like him or you were lost. Eighty-nine test matches speaks for themselves and 38 tries, twice as many as the scrumhalf who scored the next highest number of tries, is an incredible feat.

Describe him as a rugby legend.

His never-say-die attitude could inspire not only a rugby team but a whole nation and gave many something to believe in the toughest of times, on and off the field.

Describe him as a friend.

Loyal, but also brutally honest at times and often turned this brutality on himself, facing and never cheating “the man in the mirror”. He lived and loved life to the max and had an infectious laugh. His glass was always full, half water, half air. You need both.

What did you learn from knowing Joost?

Never give up. In the darkest days and hours, Joost only wanted two things, to see his two incredible children and to make sure that J9 (his foundation) was doing what it could to help people with MND. He wanted to alert the world to the plight of these sufferers.

I learnt that even I don't know what a bad day is. Joost did. His body became his tomb. MND is in my opinion the worst disease in the world. The day you die, your brain is as alert as the day you get the disease.

I learned what real friendships, integrity, family and brotherhood meant. His family were absolutely epic. His brother Pieter put his life on hold and made the most selfless sacrifices for Joost. He became Joost's alter ego.

What can the Jewish world take from Joost?

Live every day as if it's your last, because one day you're going to be right. Don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff. Surround yourself with positive, wonderful people. I know that Joost did.

Original Article:
http://www.sajr.co.za/news-and-articles/2017/02/16/newsmaker-of-the-week

Underprivileged young athletes get their chance to shine in Monaco rugby tournament.

South Africa has no shortage of talented young rugby players – and a partnership between the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA), The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and Cell C is making it possible for a group of young budding rugby stars to experience the thrill of an international tournament. A group of youngsters from underprivileged areas of the Western Cape are being given the opportunity to participate in the Sainte Dévote Tournament, a rugby 7's tournament, held in Monaco in March 2017.

The tour is part of an arrangement between SARLA, The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, as well as the Monaco Rugby Federation. The tournament includes teams from around the world and this is the third year that South African youth will take part. The arrangement is an example of how sport can play a vital role in social upliftment, giving young children from underprivileged areas the chance of a lifetime to travel to an exciting new destination, with cultural exchanges and fun activities being arranged throughout their stay in Monaco to help them to develop as athletes and to grow in a personal capacity. The children also learn to work together as a team towards the goal of performing well in this prestigious international tournament.

Preparing for saint devote
According to Gavin Varejes, President of SARLA, “My involvement with the sport of rugby has shown me how it encourages players to develop values such as team spirit, fun, fellowship, solidarity, and good sportsmanship. The South African youngsters selected for the Sainte Dévote Tournament will benefit immensely from the experience and we hope that it will inspire them to work hard and achieve other successes both on and off the field.” This is part of the mandate of the South African Rugby Legends Association, which works to develop rugby at grassroots level and does extensive work with disadvantaged communities. Varejes adds, “We are extremely grateful to Cell C, as the headline sponsor, for making this fantastic opportunity possible through their generous ongoing contribution.”

SARLA’s CEO, Stefan Terblanche, states that SARLA is honored to be invited to send a team to the tournament once more. He points out that, “Making dreams a reality for rugby-loving kids is a huge part of what SARLA wants to achieve, and this is an opportunity to do just that.” He thanks Cell C for their support in making the dreams of 12 young South African athletes come true. Terblanche also thankfully acknowledges the support and assistance of Blitz Bok coach Neil Powell and 7’s Academy and Elite squad manager Marius Schoeman.

Dr Doug Mattheus, Executive Head of Marketing, explains why Cell C became involved: “We’re a proud sponsor of the South African Rugby Legends Association, and are delighted to be associated with this tournament that brings joy, and the chance to acquire top level skills from rugby’s finest to a group of young underprivileged South African boys, not to mention the huge overall developmental impact this experience will have on them in broader terms, of experiencing a new country and new culture. It’s a great privilege for Cell C to be involved in this extremely worthwhile social upliftment campaign.”

For more information on SARLA or the Sainte Dévote Tournament please visit:

http://www.sarugbylegends.com
http://www.fondationprincessecharlene.mc/en
http://www.monaco-rugby.com

Infographic: How much money was raised with the CEO SleepOut?

Yet another successful Sun International CEO Sleep-Out took place this year. Here are some of results and beneficiaries.

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The 2016 CEO SleepOut saw South Africa’s C-Suite Members and Influencers spend a winter’s night on the streets gaining empathy for the homeless while raising funds for vulnerable communities.

“This year, just over R20 million was collected and banked so far,” said Gawie Marais, Partner at BDO, the CEO SleepOut Stakeholder Audit Partner. “Donations of R9 million will be awarded to the three Primary Beneficiary Partners equally; The ASHA Trust, Columba Leadership and The Steve Biko Foundation – all of which up-skill the youth and youth educators, or train in early childhood development. As just over R30 million was pledged, a further R10 million will also be divided equally and awarded to those Beneficiary Partners when collected,” said Darren Olivier, Trustee.

Caxton and CTP Publishers was one of the Stakeholders at the event with both Tim Holden, Executive Director and Jaco Koekemoer, Managing Director participating in the actual sleep out.

Caxton also produced the Homeless Talk supplement for the event as a fundraiser this year. The supplement took a look at the representation of homeless people, as well as factors that affect homelessness in SA. A nationally representative data study found that 14 million South Africans go hungry every day. Eleven schools registered and took part in the CEO SleepOut this year.

Summary of funds raised:

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The remaining funds were used to manage this mammoth operation and its associated logistics, with R3 million being kept in reserve to launch The 2017 Event. Over two years, R34 million has been donated to charity, representing 73% of The Project’s income revenue.

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The C-suit members and ambassadors 

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The CEOs who raised the most funds were Brett Levy, Joint Chief Executive Officer, Blue Label Telecoms Ltd, Paul Dunne, Chief Executive Officer, Northam Platinum Ltd, and Gavin Varejes, Executive Chairman, Richmark Holdings.

The primary and secondary beneficiaries included:

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Secondary Beneficiaries in 2016 included Homeless Talk, The Salvation Army, and Gift of the Givers, which all benefited from The Projects affiliated to The CEO SleepOut.

The full participant numbers

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More CEO SleepOut results

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Article originally published midrandreporter.co.za

Gavin Varejes, Executive Chairman of Richmark Holdings and President of South African Rugby Legends presents gifts to Eben Etzebeth and Francois Louw on reaching their 50th Test caps.

"We are so proud of these young players achieving this wonderful milestone in their careers. It shows how much passion and love they have for the game and making us South Africans a truly great rugby nation"
said Gavin Varejes.

The gents visited the offices of Richmark Holdings where Gavin hosted them to a lunch and an opportunity to see some of the amazing rugby memorabilia that he has been collecting for the past 20 years.

Gavin Varejes celebrates Boks 50th Test

Gavin Varejes is currently 2nd on the list for most funds raised for the CEO sleep out 2016 just below Brett Levy from Blue Label Telecoms

Six CEOs from the South African tech industry are among the top 20 business leaders who have, so far, raised the most money for The Sun International CEO SleepOut.

The event will take place on the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Braamfontein on Thursday night. It will see business leaders sleep on the streets for an evening, with a sleeping bag and cardboard floor-covering, to raise money and awareness of the plight of the homeless.

The CEO SleepOut Web site explains: "While this does not begin to simulate the reality of South Africa's most vulnerable children, it is a show of solidarity and a commitment to use business as a force for change."

Each CEO is required to commit to raising R160 000, and there is a leader board that shows how much each has raised so far.

In second place is Brett Levy, joint-CEO of Blue Label Telecoms, who has raised R347 500 already. Last year, he raised the most, achieving over R380 000.

His brother Mark Levy is at ninth with R184 000. MTN SA CEO Mteto Nyati has raised R171 100 so far and is in 12th place. In 16th place, Isaac Mophatlane, CEO of Business Connexion, has raised R163 830. He is followed by JJ Milner, MD of Global Micro Solutions, who has raised R161 800. Mark Rayner, CEO of MultiChoice SA, has raised R161 370 and is placed 19th.

These positions and figures are subject to change as more money is raised in the lead up to Thursday.

This year, the CEOs will each be joined by a staff member from their organisation, a student, and a matric learner. The idea is that these additional people, who show future business leader potential, will be able to network during the evening.

Last year, the event raised over R26 million for Girls & Boys Town. It was the largest sum raised by a single South African charity event.

It was also the largest amount of funds raised for any inaugural CEO SleepOut event. Sydney hosted its 10th event last year and Johannesburg raised more than Sydney did in its first year.

This year, there will be three beneficiaries − Asha Trust, Columbia Leadership and the Steve Biko Foundation − that will each receive an equal share of the net proceeds from the event.

The challenge was founded in 2006 in Australia and has since become a global movement, and aims to make businesses have a broader mandate than profits on its agenda.

CEO sleep out 2016

It’s going to be a busy weekend in the mother city for the SA RUGBY LEGENDS ASSOCIATION as they present a full weekend of rugby in the region.

On Thursday, they welcome a representative U16 team from Monaco, as part of the SA-MONACO Rugby Exchange programme presented in association with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and the Monaco Rugby Federation.

The programme, now in it’s second year, serves to promote the game of rugby at this age group in both countries, in South Africa focussing on those youngsters from disadvantaged areas.

Earlier this year, a group from Mannenberg on the Cape Flats travelled to participate in the St Devote U12 Rugby Tournament hosted by Princess Charlene of Monaco and her Foundation.

The group will participate in the SA-Monaco U16 rugby tournament to be held at City Park Stadium in Athlone on Sunday 10th July, featuring teams from SARLA’s Vuka Rugby programme. They will play a round robin format in the morning to determine placings in the knockout stages.

“It is a privilege to welcome the Monegasque Rugby Federation to South Africa. The association between Monaco & South Africa has been quite unique. Prince Albert and Princess Charlene have spent significant time, effort and money in bringing our two countries together and forging stronger sporting relationships”, said SARLA’s President Gavin Varejes.

“We are always welcomed with open arms and receive such incredible hospitality from Princess Charlene and the people of Monaco, when we travel there”, he said, “so it’s wonderful that we can return the hospitality by welcoming the young team to our shores”.

Besides participating in the tournament on Sunday, the team will enjoy a private tour of the Springbok Experience accompanied by a Springbok rugby legend, receive a rugby master class at the Stellenbosch based SA 7’s rugby academy and watch the Vuka programme’s Legends Cup finals at UCT on Saturday.

“The exchange is also in place to foster an understanding of our different cultures and to give the children from both countries and opportunity, through rugby, to learn more about each other”, said SARLA’s CEO Stefan Terblanche.

“Princess Charlene has been a wonderful supporter of SARLA and we are working closely together to help develop the game she loves dearly in Monaco, as well as working together to help develop the youth through sport, something she is very passionate about.”

On Saturday morning, SARLA will host the 2016 final of the U15 Legends Cup at UCT.

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The Legends Cup is an extension of their Vuka Rugby league programme that is played in 96 schools in the Cape Town region. During the weekly games, stand out players are identified and placed in zonal teams to represent their region in the Legends Cup that takes place during the July holidays.

After a week long round of matches and the semi-finals, the two teams to contest the legends Cup for 2016 are The Highlanders from Atlantis and Crusaders from Cape Town Central Zone.

This year, for the first time, the girls get a chance to contest for their own Legends Cup in the U16 age group. The finalists who will be vying for it are The Chiefs from Khayelitsha and Gladiators from Mitchells Plain North.

The Vuka programme has been running for 9 years in the Western Cape and has now started to roll out around the country with the support and backing of SARU and the relevant unions, as well as a national tournament for U15 development rugby teams - the Legends Iqhawe Week.

“What we are especially proud of is that in the current U16 Grant Khomo Week, we have 26 young players representing their respective unions, who all played in the Legends Iqhawe Week last year”, said Terblanche.

“Our rugby programmes are in place to help nurture and develop rugby talent in areas where rugby is not usually offered as a sport at school but where lots of potential talent lies. Through Vuka, the Legends Cup and the Legends Iqhawe Week, we are able to help SARU achieve its objectives of taking rugby throughout the country .”

We would like to once again extend our thanks to Mr Thelo Wakefield, President of WP Rugby Union and to Mr Mervin Green Head of Development at SARU for sharing SARLA`s vision on rugby development and affording us the opportunity to develop the game with their backing.

Gavin Varejes was nominated and has taken up the challenge by Brett Levy, Joint Chief Executive Officer at Blue Label Telecoms, to participate in The Sun International CEO SleepOut™, where business leaders will spend the night on The Nelson Mandela Bridge on Thursday 28 July 2016, gaining empathy and raising funds for education – a vital step on the road to eliminating homelessness.

In turn, Gavin took up the same opportunity to challenge Andrew Dunn from DNI to take up the same opportunity, which he gladly accepted.

What is the CEO Sleepout
The world is full of innovators and entrepreneurs, but there is a new world order when it comes to thinking about philanthropy. Today we talk of “social entrepreneurs” and “social innovation” that turns profits into positive change. Leading this new world order in South Africa is The CEO SleepOutTM.
Founded in 2015, The CEO SleepOutTM brand’s desire is to create a force for positive change and sustainable social impact in South Africa’s most vulnerable communities and societies, by forging relationships with those in a position of power and influence. Believing that the “old” system of raising funds and donations has run its course, The CEO SleepOutTM brand aims to create new, mindful fund-raising, where money is raised alongside understanding, empathy and deep insight into the lives of vulnerable, homeless South Africans.

It wants to give the “Have Gots” the chance to experience a short time as “Have Nots”, to awaken compassion in our leaders, to understand there is no “Us” and “Them” – only a “We”. The brand offers a chance to bring together people with enough financial and social influence to truly make a difference. It’s Capitalism With A Conscience.

The first wave of this new way of thinking about philanthropy washed over South Africa at the inaugural CEO SleepOutTM Event in 2015. Originating from The Vinnies Sleepout event held in Sydney, Australia in 2006, the CEO SleepOutTM Event on 16 June 2015 saw 247 CEOs and business leaders trade their Porches for the pavement, and spend the night outdoors on the freezing street of Millionaire’s Mile, Gwen Lane in Sandton. The event – the most successful fund-raising event in the history of South Africa – raised more than R26-million overnight. This year, The CEO SleepOutTMwill focus on EDUCATION and its role in helping to reduce homelessness.

The CEO SleepOut 2016

Blue Label Telecoms on Monday announced it was partnering with SA Rugby for the Castle Lager Incoming series between the Boks and Ireland.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed telecommunications and technology company will partner the Boks for the three-Test series of matches in Cape Town (11 June), Johannesburg (18 June) and Port Elizabeth (25 June 2016).

Blue Label Telecoms’ name and branding will appear on the Springboks’ jersey for the series as well as in a number of on-and off-field areas.

“We are delighted to welcome Blue Label Telecoms to the rugby family,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby. “They are one of South Africa’s most innovative and visionary companies and the way they have embraced this opportunity is testimony to that.”

“These are tough financial times for South Africa and we at SA Rugby are having to be creative in how we approach our commercial partnerships,” said Roux. “Blue Label Telecoms’ partnership for a test series – rather than for a number of years – is a model that we are increasingly considering. It offers our partners good value while also allowing us to introduce new names into our family with a view to longer term relationships.

“This is an exciting period for Springbok rugby; Blue Label Telecoms identified that and we were able to quickly see eye-to-eye on a partnership for the Castle Lager Incoming Series. SA Rugby has a good story to tell and we’re delighted that Blue Label Telecoms is now a part of it.”

Brett Levy, Blue Label Telecoms’ Joint CEO, said: “We're a proudly South African company with a strong heritage of sponsoring cricket and soccer, so the opportunity to back the Bokke is very close to our hearts.

“Our rugby team is a national treasure, and we're delighted to be associated with the Bokke ‘gees’ during the team’s debut. It's fantastic to experience this period of reinvention and renewal.”

Mark Levy, Joint CEO at Blue Label Telecoms, added: “SA Rugby has a vision for the team, from coach through to captain and management - the stage is set to show the world the Bokke’s determination and prowess.

“We share their confidence in South Africa and their commitment to excellence – the Bokke are a perfect fit with the Blue Label Telecoms brand.”

Blue Label Telecoms partners with SA Rugby