PMB Collegians rugby sponsorship trebles in five years

2013-03-29 00:00

WHAT began as a chance meeting in a pub eight years ago has turned into one of the longest-running sponsor-club partnerships in KZN rugby.

Eight years ago Tony Day, the then chairperson of Pietermaritzburg Collegians Rugby Football Club, met Brian Taylor, the dealer principal of Gestetner Midlands, in the pub at Collegians Club.

After much discussion, a partnership between Gestetner South Africa, Gestetner Midlands and PMB Collegians RFC was brokered.

An initial amount of R300 000 over three years was agreed.

Five years later, the sponsorship stands at more than R1 million.

Gestetner SA has become Ricoh SA (Pty) Ltd and Gestetner Midlands is now Motswako Office Solutions (Pty) Ltd. Taylor has been replaced by Mark Swanepoel, the regional manager of Motswako Office Solutions KZN, and Didier Claite replaces Day as PMB Collegians RFC chairperson.

Swanepoel, the nephew of PMB Collegians hockey legend Jean Rose, came to PMB two years ago to run Motswako and has continued the relationship with Collegians Rugby during this time.

“I have taken over from Tony Day as chair of the club, while Tony remains part of the team as our new president,” Claite told The Witness yesterday.

“Rinier Bosman is back as first XV head coach. Rinier has done a magnificent job in taking our flagship team from 2011 KZN First Division champions to more than holding their own in their first season back in the KZN Premier Division last year.

“We are targeting a top five finish this season, and pre-season training has been on the go for some time now.

“With the fantastic support of our sponsors, who are the lifeblood of the club, last year was a very successful one and that is in part due to our strength in depth.

“Apart from the trophies and excellent finishes in the leagues, we fielded four senior teams in the various KZN Rugby Union leagues and are very proud of the fact that we were one of only three clubs in the KZNRU system that did not scratch a game.”

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