There will be 70 smiling faces as a group of young, dedicated and ambitious boys from the township watch the Springboks’ opening World Cup match against the All Blacks. PETROS AUGOUSTI reports.
The opportunity to share in the Rainbow spirit that only a World Cup can bring about in uncertain times is both axiomatic and rare, a combination of an atypical occasion blending with a glorious past.
The Vusa players have never been able to afford the simple pleasure of tuning into a World Cup game and watching the drama as it unfolds.
They have never stood shoulder to shoulder, arm-in-arm as the national anthem sends goosebumps jolting up and down the spine.
They will be afforded the opportunity to watch Siya Kolisi lead his Bok team by a dedicated and passionate Bishops Preparatory School head of rugby, Brendan Fogarty, who is instrumental in providing a legacy programme to change lives and create leaders and heroic figures.
The Vusa Rugby Academy will be playing a mini-cup in its own right, smack bang in the middle of the World Cup campaign, with the Langa township boys taking on an Eastern Cape side at the QeQe Stadium in Zwide, fittingly on Heritage Day.
The boys will draw inspiration by visiting the Kolisi home and see where he was brought up, and also dream of becoming Bok legends. Humble beginnings, hard work and a sense of pride is what these boys need, and they will get it all on their Eastern Cape tour.
The Vusa Rugby Academy is not just a sports-oriented programme but a holistic initiative that has seen more than 2,000 boys develop and grow into business leaders, community beacons of hope and even a Springbok rugby player.
The academy provides educational services, sport and mentorship.
‘The three key principles – namely education, sport and mentorship – using our male coaches as role-models are what builds to the success of the programme,’ says Fogarty, a stalwart in the school and educational rugby world of Cape Town, both affluent and at its most guttural and raw.
‘The Vusa programme provides developmental experiences of giving children access to extra academic lessons, computer facilities, exposing them to recreational activities, providing them with a hot meal and allowing them access to role-model based coaching.
‘We have had many wonderful and meaningful corporate sponsors through the years, but there is never enough money to help more and more of the Langa community … we are hamstrung to helping maybe 150 boys a year, when we should be helping tens of thousands,’ Fogarty adds.
‘The programme relies on corporate backing and through CSI funding we can lift hopes, clean up our streets socially and morally, and build a brighter future.’
– For more information and potential involvement on this ground-breaking initiative go to the Vusa website.