More clubs ready and drive to “Grow Women’s Rugby” continues

The “Gees” of WP Rugby remains high as we see several milestones and high’s reached for school, club and professional rugby.

This past week has seen additional clubs get to the training field for the first time in more than twelve months and some clubs have now progressed into phase two of the “Return to Training” programme.

Next week will see us host our clubs in the regional forum meetings starting with Super League, A, B and C on Tuesday 6 April and then City, Southern, Northern, Paarl, Metro & Simonsberg region on 7 April 2021 in the Railway Mall at DHL Newlands.

The forum meetings will give our member clubs the opportunity to engage on Club Competition 2021, Return to Play – COVID-19 Protocols, Player Registrations’ Referee Recruitment, Lotto Applications and Workshops.

Over the past few days, we’ve been inundated with clubs sharing pictures of their sessions, meeting friends and getting their boots on. It’s fantastic to see our members in such good spirits and this is again emphasising the importance of club activities. This return has not only lifted the spirit of our players and administrators but has also begun to pique the interest of sponsors as we hear that many clubs have connected with protentional sponsors.

We commend those clubs that have ensured their sponsors have activation opportunities and encourage all clubs to ensure they give their full support to their MMS ( Media, Marketing and Sponsorship) representatives.

Last week saw the launch of our club leadership workshops with our first session focusing on “The Constitution”. The session saw just over thirty clubs attend and get some very important exposure on club constitutional matters. Key factors such as club constitution alignment with the WPRFU constitution and the importance of establishing policy and bye-laws at the club were discussed. The latter being particularly important for the day to day running of any club.

Next week 7 April 2021, sees the next club leadership workshop with a focus on “The Role of the Executive”. As most club rugby administrators are volunteers this session is particularly important to ensure that each person on the executive committee clearly understands the role they fulfil and the expectations of serving in that position. We encourage all clubs to make every effort to sign up as soon as possible. Club Executive Committee members can sign up here.

Women’s rugby continues to grow, and this is our aim. We have set a goal that by the end of 2021 we will have registered five thousand women or girls interested in rugby via the club structures. This process has already unfolded as the clubs have begun appointing their Women’s Rugby Club Representatives who will then link up with the MMS reps at each club to help with the recruitment process.

This number might sound high, but we are working on the principle that each club need only sign up fifty women or girls to reach our first target. It’s equally important that all clubs commit to the process and understand that this drive is not immediately related to rolling out teams and playing in leagues, although that is a long term goal. Any women that would like to join any club as the club Women’s Rugby Champion can sign up here.

This past weekend saw several coaches complete the World Rugby Level 2 coaching course over two days at the HPC in Bellville. The course took on a new dimension this year with a higher focus on the practical component and the assessment of the practical component. This bodes well for future assessments as we continue to empower our coaches and drive for rugby excellence.

Our next course is the World Rugby Level 1 Fifteens course on 9 April 2021. This course is exclusively for Women. Any Women wishing to sign up for this course can click here.

Members wishing to sign up for the World Rugby Level 1 Sevens Rugby course on 16 April 2021 can click here to sign up now.


Club COVID certification continues and Club Leadership Webinar set to start

Good news this week includes the increase in clubs that are now COVID certified, clubs that have now moved into phase two and the continued roll-out of our workshops with our clubs and club coaches.

We now have in excess of sixty clubs certified to return to training and a number of these clubs are now into the second phase of the “return to training” programme. The first phase of four weeks stays focused on Strength and Conditioning and after completion, they may move to more physical contact training. We remind our clubs to persevere and ensure that all the return to training regulations are adhered to strictly. We understand that protocols take time and effort, but these protocols are very important for the safety of our members and the continuation of club rugby.

By now most of our clubs have settled into a rhythm in relation to the practical aspects, but we do advise our clubs, especially those that are recently certified to consider the time factor. Encourage your players to get to the field as early as possible as screening and record-keeping takes some time before they get their boots on.

This week Monday saw DHL Stormers forwards coach Rito Hlungwani give a remarkable workshop on high-performance coaching, with a focus on attack and lineout sessions to our club coaches. The session included exclusive behind the scenes

practice footage filmed on high-level cameras. The session was truly enlightening and clearly showed the advanced level our DHL Stormers and professional players train at and the detail involved in being a professional player.

We are very happy to say that our club players in the DHL WP Rugby u20 squad are exposed to the same level of High-Performance coaching which was on display in our workshop, as they prepare for this year’s u20 Currie Cup.

Our Universities have been training hard and are just about ready to play their first fixtures as the 2021 Varsity Cup starts on 4 April with UWC up against Shimlas and Maties against UCT. Both these fixtures will be played at the TUKS stadium. This is a first for us as we see both local sides play each other away from home in what would normally have been a local derby. CPUT will get their Varsity Shield ball rolling against Fort Hare at Loftus on 14 April 2021.

After four weeks of training our DHL WP Rugby Women’s Rugby team have moved into their next phase now including ball skills and drills. The squad of just over fifty women’s rugby players from several different clubs in Western Province is currently preparing for the Inter-Provincial Championships

This past Thursday saw our clubs attend our Lotto funding workshop as we prepare for the opening of the Lotto applications in April. Clubs should ensure that their documents such as constitution, financials, details of their Executive Committees and other paperwork are up to date.

We encourage all our club’s executive members to sign up for the online Club Leadership course which rolls out over the next six weeks starting this coming Wednesday 24 March 2021. The first session will focus on The Club constitution, the importance thereof, how to use the constitution, align the constitution and the amendment process. Additional topics include the policy guidelines process which goes hand in hand with the club constitution, strategy, and vision. The registration link can be obtained from the club secretary.


Club Rugby Women’s Rugby representatives get started.

This past week saw several forward moving positive steps including clubs back to training, successful coaching courses and the roll-out of the Women’s Rugby development programme for clubs.

After the call for clubs to nominate Women’s Rugby representatives from all clubs, we hosted our first Club Women’s Champion briefing on Wednesday evening. The online session saw an introduction to more than thirty club reps on the way forward at club level.

The need for this programme was identified after consideration of the need to grow Women’s Rugby at club level. This growth and opportunity model requires that all clubs should have a structure in place to support Women and Girls and with a local Women’s Rugby Champion in place to drive this growth and opportunity for Women and Girls in the area.

We envisage that this programme will allow more Women and Girls to sign up at club level and more clubs with more club activities for Women and Girls in their areas. The greater the commitment the more Women players, managers, coaches and administrators will come through the ranks.

To support our clubs and to bring further awareness to this programme we will be hosting a monthly Women’s Rugby workshop on the first Wednesday of every month. These seminars will look at various ways to increase growth and participation with various experts in attendance. Clubs that still need to appoint a Women’s Rugby Representative can click here to nominate their champions.

This past week saw our DHL WP Rugby u20 squad return to training at the HPC. The squad which excludes the current Varsity Cup players will continue to prepare for the U20 Currie Cup.

Having completed and remained in a state of ready strength and conditioning the squad training includes ball skills. It might seem strange to refer to something as basic as ball skills being part of a training session, but we feel it’s important to highlight these milestones which have seen our members going through the various return to training phases.

Next week will see the roll-out of our Club Leadership series which will see our Members of our Club Rugby Executive Committees participate in various leadership workshops on a fortnightly basis. This series includes various components from the original “Clubwise” and elements such as Club Constitutions, Secretarial Skills, Financial Management, Communication, Meeting management and club policies.

As WP Rugby we feel these Club Leadership skills are vital for all generations of leadership as much of the regulations on sport has changed in the past few years and we must remain current and align to these national sports models.

This week we roll out our Lotto Funding workshop to our club members. It’s vital that our clubs attend this workshop in order to best understand the Lotto application process. Clubs should understand the paper trail and various requirements and that external club funding is vital at all times. Clubs can nominate a delegate to attend the Lotto funding workshop by clicking this link. 

This past weekend saw us complete yet another World Rugby Level 1 for Fifteens course at DHL Newlands with several coaches now qualified to coach rugby at a higher level. We’re thrilled about this uptake and the additional demand to enter the coaching programmes.

This Wednesday sees more than sixty WP Rugby Coaches join our High Performance for coaches workshop with DHL Stormers forward coach Rito Hlungwani invited to look at Attacking and Defence Line-out Theory. Coaches who would still like to sign up can click here.

Following the High-Performance coaching course, our next course will be the Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Course this coming Friday. This course is now fully booked, but we’ll keep you updated as to the next S&C course. To do this course you simply need an active interest in Strength and Conditioning for Rugby. Please don’t forget, as with all World Rugby courses you are required to complete the World Rugby online Covid-19 certification course for coaches before attending.


Clubs to enroll Women’s Rugby reps and High Performance Coaching set to roll out

This past week has been yet another successful week for interaction, training and education for our WP Rugby structures including our Women’s Rugby programmes.

This week saw us roll out the opportunity for clubs to nominate a representative for Women’s Rugby from their respective clubs. At WP Rugby we will continue to drive the development of Women’s Rugby in line with World Rugby and SA Rugby.

We understand that to grow any structure, you need dedicated individuals at dedicated structures. This allows for a focussed approach and better support model, and as such we have created the opportunity to enrol club Women’s Rugby “Champions”.  We will help these “Champions” with recruitment and education at their clubs with a view to significant growth in opportunity for Women and Girls, and we continue to urge our clubs to support the process.

This week also saw further training for our DHL WP Women’s Rugby Squad at the HPC in Bellville. Although training is happening under COVID regulations the spirit is high amongst the players as they continue to drive their team spirit and prepare for future tournaments including the prospect of the National Team selection.

We have now concluded our first series of forum meetings with our clubs. These engagements saw good interaction and suggestions on various matters such as the league format, return to training regulations and return to play but with the majority of queries stemming from the impact that COVID has had on all roll out and planning. These discussions and suggestions have now been summarised and sent to our clubs.

This week also saw the conclusion of our Media, Marketing and Sponsorship Workshops and now all that remains for these students is to conclude their course assessments before we adjudicate. Successful students will be invited to DHL Newlands for a certificate and T-Shirt handover.

We trust that the MMS course will lead to a significant increase in club sponsorship and the overall awareness or WP Club Rugby. We remind our clubs to give the MMS teams their full support as they will ultimately be the individuals that will be seeking sponsorship and raising awareness for your club. This should lead to an increase in membership and fans for your club which then bodes well for increasing your value proposition.

Our course online registration process has been rolling on steadily and already we are seeing a tremendous increase in numbers. This week includes the WP Rugby Referees course and World Rugby Level One Fifteens course with the next on 13 March 2021. Please click here to sign up now

This coming week on 15 March 2021 will see us host a High Performance for Coaches online workshop on Attack and Defence lineout theory.

Many of our clubs are now into the first phase of the eight-week COVID return to training (RTT) phase. This phase only starts after the initial COVID clearance from the WPRFU. As was emphasised in our COVID readiness workshop clubs are reminded to adhere strictly to the regulations and that can be absolutely no shortcut to the second phase.


Coaching registration open, Women’s Rugby focus and Education rolls on

This past week saw yet another big week for WP Rugby as a number of clubs returned to training, the start of our online education series, our Women’s Rugby return and our DHL Stormers side making their debut at the Cape Town Stadium.

Our club rugby coaches and COVID compliance officers took to the online arena as we presented a comprehensive online briefing on COVID-19 and return to training. The course saw in excess of seventy-five club rugby members discuss various matters of return to training according to the SA Rugby guidelines and WPRFU requirements.

Even though the practical return to training can seem somewhat daunting it’s been impressive to see how well how clubs have been dealing with the process and doing so in a very serious disciplined manner. Some of our clubs have not only been practising the pre-training compliance but also filming and broadcasting their sessions via social media platforms. These initiatives go a long way in educating fellow clubs and bringing further awareness to the health and safety requirements.


The week saw a start to the online registration for our World Rugby courses with our next course for World Rugby Fifteens Level One scheduled for 6 March 2021. We encourage all our members to get started and signup. Coaching rugby is a fantastic way to get involved in the world of rugby at Western Province. Click here to register now.

Last week saw the ball start rolling with more than fifty members of our DHL WP Rugby Women’s squad in attendance at DHL Newlands with a briefing from our National Women’s Rugby team Coach Stanley Raubenheimer. The session was thoroughly enjoyed as he gave a detailed explanation of the national team goals. We look forward to supporting our Women’s Rugby squad members to give them every opportunity to stay on the national radar.

This coming week sees the resurgence of our Media, Marketing and Sponsorship courses as we host a catch-up course for those that might have missed a module last year. Upon completion, the successful candidates will receive a certificate of completion from the WPRFU and a custom-designed T-Shirt courtesy of CTC Sports.

The T-Shirt design choice saw a collaborative effort between MMS candidates who were given a choice of four different options. We will showcase the design to you shortly. By all accounts and considering the choices made through the voting platform our MMS members are looking for a vibrant and dynamic set of apparel.

Our DHL Stormers embarked on a new era this weekend and played their first match at the Cape Town Stadium.  The match was a preparation match against the Toyota Cheetahs with Chris van Zyl leading the charge as Captain.

The season ahead will see teams from eight local unions each play four matches – two at home and two away to meet the teams’ high-performance needs against the landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic with each team playing over a ten-day cycle.

Although there is much excitement in the rugby ranks with the return to training activities, we remind our members that the COVID pandemic is still a threat and we need to do everything in our power to guard against the spread of the virus.

It’s crucial that all clubs and participants adhere fully to the return to training regulations and continue to follow the national health and safety guidelines including social distancing, washing your hands regularly and always wearing a mask.


Coaching registrations open

It gives us great pleasure to inform you of the dates for the first series of coaching courses.

These coaching courses include World Rugby Levels 1 and 2 for fifteens rugby, Levels 1 for Sevens Rugby and Strength and Conditioning course for coaches.

The entry into the world of coaching starts with the World Rugby Level 1 coaching courses. This course is open to anyone with an interest in coaching rugby and needs no previous coaching qualifications. The only criteria being the completion of the relevant levels of the World Rugby Passport and COVID 19 certificate. This same applies to the level 1 Sevens and level 1 Strength and Condition course.

The good news for anyone looking to get started is that the World Rugby Passport can be completed in phases. A candidate need simply register online and can then return at any time to continue the exam.

For those that do not want to register right now but want to be notified of future coaching information, you can add your name to our mailing list here and we’ll be sure to keep you informed.

Our next course for World Rugby Level 1 is at DHL Newlands on Saturday 6 March 2021 Please click here to sign up and get started.

For coaches who have completed Level 1, our next Level 2 course is on 26 March 2021. Please click here to register.

Our first Level Strength and Conditioning course for the year will be on 19 March 2021 and our first Level 1 Seven Rugby coaching course will be on 16 April 2021. Please click here to register

All coaches will be invited to attend the coaching high-performance online courses on 15 March 2021 when we will look at Attack and Defence and Lineout theory and thereafter backline attacking principles on 29 March 2021.

We look forward to having you join our coaching ranks as we continuously seek ways to develop the game of rugby in Western Province.

World Rugby Accredited Courses Schedule
06 March 2021 World Rugby Level 1 Fifteens
13 March 2021 World Rugby Level 1 Fifteens
19 March 2021 World Rugby Level 1 Strength & Conditioning
26 March 2021 World Rugby Level 2 Fifteens (Day1)
27 March 2021 World Rugby Level 2 Fifteens (Day2)
09 April 2021 World Rugby Level 1 Fifteens
16 April 2021 World Rugby Level 1 Sevens
23 April 2021 World Rugby Level 2 Fifteens (Day1)
24 April 2021 World Rugby Level 2 Fifteens (Day2)
07 May 2021 World Rugby Level 1 Fifteens
21 May 2021 World Rugby Level 1 Sevens
04 June 2021 World Rugby  Level 1 Fifteens

Coaching course dates announced and Women’s Rugby development continues

After last weeks announcement by SA Rugby that amateur rugby training may resume we have seen a breath of fresh air blow amongst our members. The initial phase allows for a four week period for strength and conditioning training, all according to strict COVID health and safety protocols.

SA Rugby also confirmed the restart of the amateur rugby season will follow a structured approach to ensure the health and safety of players and management are taken into consideration.

This announcement has seen a number of our COVID certified clubs return to training and although it’s early days the feedback so far is that the players are adjusting well. This was of course expected as we know many of our clubs have remained active with their members doing social activities which also includes COVID protocols.

To support our clubs during this time we will be hosting a COVID readiness online workshop for our coaches and COVID compliance officers this coming Monday 22 February. The workshop will not only includes the COVID regulation administrative factors pre and during training but also looks at post-training record keeping. Additional information on the practicalities of training during COVID will be included as well as the duties of the club COVID compliance officers.

Those clubs that are still to be COVID certified by the WPRFU are encouraged to do so as urgently. Clubs who already completed this process however do not need to apply again.

The Varsity Cup has been given the go-ahead for the 2021 season and we are proud to say that we will one gain be represented by Maties, UWC, and UCT and CPUT in the Varsity Shield.

2021 will see the continuation of our focus on the development of women’s rugby and the continuation of our exclusive women’s rugby coaching program which launched last year. As we see more clubs building their structures and looking to include women’s rugby at their clubs we anticipate that this programme will have a meaningful connection between the women we are enrolling on the course and the clubs with women’s rugby structures. As part of our strategy to grow women’s rugby, we will be engaging and supporting our club structures to follow suit.

This week saw us roll out the first of our forum meetings which saw our clubs engage the WPRFU. These sessions looked at club competitions for 2021, proposals for 2022 and return to training. This week rotated through Super League A, B and C at the DHL Newlands stadium boardroom and next week sees us engage the City & Southern Leagues, Northern and Paarl Leagues and Metro, Simonsberg and Sunday Leagues on 23,24, 25 February respectively.

We are happy to announce that our first World Rugby level one coaching courses will be held on 20th and 27th February 2021 at DHL Newlands and thereafter our World Rugby Level 2 course on 26 and 27 March 2021.  Remember to complete your World Rugby passport before doing the course but in the meantime please put your name on the list as an interested party and we will correspond with you as and when we issue correspondence on coaching. Click here to add your name to the list. 

We will announce the dates for our WP Rugby level 2.5 coaching courses shortly. These courses roll out over a six week period with a number of elements online. 2020 saw our coaching courses deliver fantastic results for several coaches and many enjoyed the interaction with each other as coaches were able to share their coaching successes and challenges with each other. We encourage all level 2 coaches to enrol for the WP Rugby 2.5 course as this course is designed to be the bridge between the World Rugby level two and three courses.

In addition to our coaching course, we will continue to empower our clubs by rolling out additional media, marketing and sponsorship workshops. Last year saw the start of the focus MMS courses which allowed for additional marketeers to be deployed at club level. We will now roll out additional courses which focus on the specifics of marketing your club and engaging your supporter’s club.

These sessions will add a practical element and will help our clubs improve their communication and exposure. The good news for anyone that missed any of the previous modules is that we will host a four-week catch-up course for those who might have missed any of the four modules these sessions run over a four consecutive day period starting on 1 March 2021.

This year will also see us roll out administrative education workshops that will deal with the details of the role of club management at an executive level. This will include matters such as constitutional processes and amendments, meeting procedures and policy implementation.


DHL Western Province in home semi-final and COVID readiness applications continue

The wheels are in motion for another active year of WP Club Rugby and certainly, things are looking good for our senior DHL WP Rugby side.

It’s heartwarming to note that even under these difficult conditions our senior players under the guidance of Coach Johan Dobson are in good spirits. Even though our team had to play on “Boxing Day” with a Captains practice on Christmas Day and then again on “Tweede Nuwe Jaar” when most are enjoying time off and relaxing our boys stepped up to the challenge to make us proud.

The team now goes into the semi-final against the Cell C Sharks at DHL Newlands this weekend and depending on the match between the Vodacom Bulls and the Xerox Lions we could see a home final.

As previously indicated, we would look to the positives of 2020 and build on this for 2021. Already we have begun the process of mapping out the year ahead with a major focus on online interaction and education. Fortunately, last year saw us and our members rapidly adapt to the new dynamics of sport which is now dominated by online engagements and this now sees us in a position to help more of our members.

Following on from last year we will shortly announce the initial dates for some of our coaching courses. These will include the ever-popular WP Rugby 2.5 course which follows on from last year. The first course aimed at school rugby coaches will last six weeks and is scheduled to start in February.

Also starting in February is the World Rugby Level Two Course. Online applications will be published shortly, and anyone interested should begin the process of completing the World Rugby passport including the COVID awareness online course. Please note the course can be completed over phases, you simply need to register, start the course and go back to the platform and pick up from where you left off. Here is the link to start

Due to COVID restrictions and strict return to training and play regulations in South Africa, we will continue to await announcements from government and SA Rugby. All sport in South Africa face the same conditions and are subject to the same regulations which have sadly seen a severe reduction of sports events. As with all other sports, we continue to work towards ensuring that our clubs are COVID ready and it is unlikely that the need for COVID certification at any sports field will not be required for the foreseeable future. To this extent, we urge our members to continue the process of getting COVID certified.

This certification process not only includes the understanding of how facilities are required to operate under COVID regulations and the agreed sports plan but also includes the need for COVID awareness education. We urge all our administrators to undergo the World Rugby COVID awareness certificate by clicking this link and to continue to find ways to educate their members on COVID health and safety protocols.

Players and coaches should understand that living and practising sport during the time of COVID is going to take some adjustment, but these adaptations will strengthen our clubs. We should understand that any practice or match in future will be impacted by these protocols. Even a simple process such as arriving for practice will need to be considered as our coaches and compliance officers will need time to do COVID screening.

We understand that a major impact of not playing your favourite sport, rugby, and not being able to socialise with your rugby friends and colleagues has placed a tremendous burden on our members and their normal passionate club rugby spirit. With this in mind, we urge our coaches and club administrators to constantly communicate with their members using any creative message possible.

Although it might seem a small matter we can assure you that for many players and fans of club rugby these messages of encouragement go a long way towards keeping the spirit of club rugby intact. Something as simple as a birthday wish, or congratulations on a birth or wedding is all it takes to bring a smile to a member’s face, lift their spirits and keep them connected to your club.


WP Club Rugby ready for 2021. DHL Western Province at DHL Newlands for semi-final

Welcome to 2021, we trust you have all had a safe and enjoyable festive season and managed to spend some time relaxing with those close to you.

From an on-field perspective, we are happy to say that our DHL Western Province side has progressed into the Carling Currie Cup semi-finals and will take on the Cell C Sharks at DHL Newlands on 23 January 2021. We congratulate Coach John Dobson and his management team on the success to date and look forward to what comes next. If things go our way we will face the winner of the match between the Vodacom Bulls and The Xerox Lions in the finals on 30 January 2021.

On the amateur side, we await further announcements from SA Rugby with regards to the SA Rugby Cup and the factors on return to training for other amateur rugby. In the meantime, the COVID readiness applications for clubs continues at the WPRFU and we urge our clubs to continue the process of COVID education and club readiness together with compliance officer education.

We are constantly monitoring the COVID situation and following the various guidelines issued by SA Rugby, Government and Municipalities as and when they come out. We will keep communicating these guidelines to you.

2020 will go down in the history books as one of the most challenging years we have ever faced. COVID put our clubs under enormous pressure as sports structure but even in the absence of fixtures, we managed to galvanise our structures to face the challenges the pandemic brought upon us.

2020 saw us constantly engaging with your members with several positive results delivered to help strengthen our membership. This included coaching, referees, youth and administrative development all to improve our junior, senior and women’s development within the world of WP Rugby.

As we continue to battle the pandemic we will capitalise on our strengths and build on the positives we gained in 2020 and again accept the challenge to keep our members connected and contribute to them in a meaningful manner using the game of rugby to improve the lives of our members.

This year we will continue to use technology to engage with our members and will shortly send out the various course and online engagement schedules for the first quarter. Amongst others, this will include coaching courses, refereeing matters, club administration and member recruitment at club level.

Continuing with our focus on women’s rugby development our High-Performance coaching course which is exclusively for women will shortly recommence and 2021 will see much publicity for this programme to bolster women’s rugby at club level.

2020 saw us enrol more than one hundred and twenty media, marketing and sponsorship candidates which will now go to work at supporting their club structures to create their various value propositions to go to market. We intend to build on this new found talent and support them to a point of delivery as they now move forward to support the leadership at their various clubs.

We envisage that these MMS Team members are now well-positioned to capitalise on their newfound skills as the success of any sport movement requires interaction and communication to build.

Although we all understand that it’s early in the year and planning is still underway, we remind our members of the importance of keeping their members engaged. This is vital to keep your membership in place and ready for when we return to some sense of normality. 2020 showed us a wide variety of engagement methods in the absence of physical activities and by staying connected and engaging we also deliver a tremendous amount of social interaction which can contribute to social wellness.

We urge our members to continue the use of technology such as email, WhatsApp and social media to reach out to their members where possible. We urge our members to be as creative as possible to keep our members motivated during this difficult time.

On a final note, I again remind our members that we are must keep fighting this pandemic and do so by following all the health and safety protocols and to encourage those around us to do the same.

As a club rugby structure, we know the passion of WP Club Rugby and as active participants of our beloved game, we can spread the message of these important protocols amongst our members. The basics to remember remains to Wash your hands regularly, Maintain Social Distancing and Always wear a mask.

These guidelines are also considered as avoiding the three C’s. 1. Avoid confined spaces, 2. Avoid Close contact, 3. Avoid Crowded spaces.

We have lost several members of our rugby fraternity of late including leaders,  mentors and colleagues. We extend our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones during these difficult times and trust that you will draw strength from the knowledge that you are in our thoughts and prayers. They will forever remain in our memories.


Tough year past, but many highlights

On behalf of the WPRFU we offer our best wishes to you for the festive season, and trust that you are spending this time with your loved ones.

2020 has certainly been a challenging year for WP Club Rugby, but even though it has been a difficult year particularly with no fixtures the year has been full of highlights as we saw our clubs step up to the plate.

By March this year we had already scheduled just over one thousand six hundred matches for the season with more to come, including the play-offs which culminate at DHL Newlands, the annual Score WP Club Rugby Sevens and our Women’s Club Rugby division.

We started the year in anticipation of a fantastic season ahead with many clubs playing pre-season friendlies early in 2020. At the time we envisaged an exciting year ahead for club rugby as we could see the standard of rugby across all the leagues and divisions had kept improving. 2019 had been an exciting year for WP Club Rugby as we saw several clubs go toe to toe with very small margins and it was clear our clubs were ready to build on this.

The standard of rugby had steadily improved as we saw that our coaching courses were paying dividends. Combining this with the various improvements and additions our clubs had been making in management structures and the wise use of technology the year ahead was going to be exceptional. Clubs had been deploying additional committees to deal with leadership matters and various appointments such as additional coaches including strength and conditioning coaches.

Sadly the season ahead never materialised as COVID dealt a devastating blow to club rugby. The impact was severe not only from a fixture point of view but also to all the periphery benefits the game of rugby brings to our rugby community.

COVID not only impacted our fixtures but also the micro economy of club rugby. Clubs lost gate takings, kiosk sales, player and coaching fees and membership subs amongst the many other benefits physical events bring to a club rugby structure. For many communities who depend on their local rugby club, the loss of regular club rugby activities has been severe.

The spirit of club rugby was however not going to be beaten that easily and our clubs rose to the occasion with a fighting spirit. It was evident early in lockdown that our club structures were no strangers to challenges and were naturally geared to use their organised club rugby structures to support their players and the communities they serve.

Witnessing our club structures galvanise their management and players into support units which stretched far beyond the eighty minutes between the white lines was heart-warming. Using the leadership skills of club rugby we saw our clubs move into action without hesitation to support their players and their local communities in need. Many clubs started outreach projects which included feeding schemes and fundraising. Clubs reached out to local sponsors, past players and in many cases their personal funds to support their members and families during very difficult times.

We knew the loss of physical social interaction had a tremendous impact on our members as we witnessed the joy from our members to see each other face to face when we had our first group engagement which saw just over eighty clubs arrive at DHL Newlands to collect more than one thousand food parcels courtesy of our partnership with NGO United Way. These parcels would each feed a family of six for a month.

At WP Rugby we quickly moved our coaching support systems into the digital space and rolled out online coaching and education workshops including coaching, referee, and media, marketing and sponsorship workshops. One of our highlights of the year being the establishment of our High Performance Coaching programme which is exclusively for Women. These programmes see us positioned for an excellent 2021.

Additionally, we embraced the digital era even further with the roll-out of our African Bank Esports challenge which will see our clubs go head to head in the online arena early next year. We anticipate that this extension will bring a new dimension to the excitement of club rugby membership engagement, and we look forward to many more innovative concepts for our membership.

Many clubs used the opportunity to engage new skills amongst their members to help build websites, digitise old photographs and strengthen their social media presence whilst others took the opportunity to work on administrative matters such as constitutions, committee structures and membership. All of these elements have strengthened our club rugby structures and will no doubt see us move into the future with several new dimensions.

As we now reflect on 2020 we note the terrible impact COVID has had on our members, but we also note the strength of WP Club Rugby and the wonderful gift our clubs bring to society through the world of rugby as they deliver strength, hope and opportunity to their members and the communities they serve.

There is no doubt that our clubs are ready to tackle 2021 whatever the challenges might be.

We take this opportunity to remind our members that COVID is rife amongst our population as we entered the second wave, and to take every precaution during the festive season and beyond during the time of COVID. We remind you to practise social distancing, wash hands and always wear a mask which covers both your mouth and nose.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those that have lost someone of late. We trust you will draw strength from your family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.