The way forward for the SEC

Three days of active deliberation ended on a high note on Sunday at the Scrumdown Indaba in Coega with agreement on a definitive way forward for the rejuvenation of rugby in the South Eastern Cape (SEC).


All stakeholders agreed that there was an urgent need to rebuild the brand to accurately reflect the rich heritage of the region and to attract the financial backing so necessary for the development and retention of key players.


It was agreed that additional development funding would need to be sourced outside of SA Rugby income and in this regard a dedicated fundraiser would be appointed.


Bafundi Makubalo, Director of Sports and Recreation for Eastern Cape, said in order to fast track the process it was also necessary to foster closer relationships and partnerships between SA Rugby, the three local rugby unions, local, provincial and national government, business and tertiary institutions which would assist in capacity building, research, funding and brand building.


Another key outcome of the indaba was the clear need to align the existing structures within the provincial borders.


Mike Stofile, Deputy President of SARU said the drainage of talented players from the region due to the lack of a formal retention strategy was a general concern. He added it was necessary to devise innovative incentive schemes for the retention of players and institute additional training and coaching for local professional coaches.


“This region is the greatest source of black players in the country and it has the potential to be the cornerstone of transformation in rugby.”


Mongezi Mde, chairman of CSM, the co-ordinators of the Scrumdown Indaba confirmed a consolidated blueprint detailing a comprehensive financial and marketing and communication and commercialisation plan structure for the region would be presented to SARU this month.


“Once this has been signed off, SARU will appoint a project leader to drive the process forward, interfacing with a representative committee from the region. Implementation of the plan is scheduled for April 2007,” Stofile added.

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