All hands on deck and reaching out

This past week saw yet another wave of activity at WP Rugby, both on and off the field as our professional players prepare for their tentative return to play next month, and we’ve had all hands on deck with our outreach projects.

The week saw us partner with international NGO United Way as we prepared more than one thousand food and support parcels during the week. Our u21 players joined at DHL Newlands on Friday to help with packing in preparation for a drop off in Elsies Rivier at The Noordelikkes RFC on the same day and further distribution from the stadium on Saturday.

The drop off in Elsies Rivier saw in excess of two hundred parcels dropped off to various women in the area in support of women’s month and several children from neighbouring schools and juniors from the WP Rugby HUBS programme which included bags of rice, assorted fruit and vegetables, breakfast cereal, sanitary pads and a variety of other essential items handed out. We were thrilled to have our WP Rugby Women’s team Captain Babalwa Latsha, team coach Laurian Johannes Haupt and WP Rugby Executive committee member Mrs Nadeema Khan in attendance.

Saturday saw more than eighty clubs arrive at DHL Newlands in vehicles at scheduled times to collect food parcels which were loaded in a drive-through fashion one at a time. Each club will now go and distribute in their local neighbourhood.

The Newlands collection saw club members overjoyed to see each other on a day normally earmarked for match day activity. It was fantastic to see club members catch up and share stories and to see the DHL Stormers and members of the WP Rugby Executive committee arrive to lend a hand with loading the parcels.

Although we are awaiting news of the exact date, the first Currie Cup fixture is expected to be played in mid-September behind closed doors and with other approved regulations in place. Our Currie Cup teams have been back at training at the HPC for the past few weeks and although training can be somewhat awkward under the current training restrictions our players are in high spirits.

Coach Jerome Paarwater together with Nazeem Adams (manager education) and Wilfred Cupido (manager schools high performance) have now moved onto the next phase of our WP Rugby 2.5 coaching course. This phase sees more than twenty coaches from the WP schools structures including our Craven week teams doing the online workshops for the next six weeks. The ball started rolling this week with planning and next week starts with media education after which the coaches will follow the same programme as the club coaches.

Jerome has identified the media session as a starter to prepare the participants digitally for easier engagement for the weeks ahead. The first course with the club rugby coaches has already born fruit as these coaches are now well versed in the art of online presentation and the manner of dealing with components such as home-based sound, lighting and connectivity. All of which are crucial to the success of the future coach.

Our online workshops are now scheduled to start on 25 August with the media, marketing and sponsorship workshops with the first module looking at the media infrastructure at club level. This includes brand identity, building your support team, communication segmentation and other components important to lay the foundation for an effective supporter’s club model.

Our members will shortly be sent a form to register up to three nominees from each club to attend the workshop. Registration is important so that we have the contact details of the attendees to provide further information and assist with scheduling. Each attendee will have an opportunity to complete a short questionnaire on the workshop content and will receive a digital and print WP Rugby certificate of attendance upon completion.

Clubs should begin considering their nominees as soon as possible, as the role of club media liaison, content manager or sponsorship manager is a volunteer position which requires commitment for the success of the clubs initiative. Each participant will be offered the opportunity to create some basic content for presentation and broadcast.