Rugby highlights children’s village

2013-08-08 00:00

LEADING English rugby club Saracens will play College Rovers in an exhibition rugby match at the Lungisisa Indlela Village (LIV Village) near Umhlanga Rocks next Wednesday.

The match will highlight the work done in the village.

Nic Jonsson, CEO of Jonsson’s Overalls, has agreed to sponsor R100 000 towards the match, which will be known as the LIV Community Cup.

The LIV Village provides holistic residential care for vulnerable children, and places parentless children into a family environment, where they receive unconditional love, care and nurturing. The core vision of the village is to “rescue a child, restore a life, raise a leader and release a star”.

Tich Smith, the former South African cricketer and Natal flyhalf, founded LIV Village.

“This game has been initiated by John Smit and Edward Griffiths [CEO of Saracens and former Witness columnist] and will make a huge impact on the community, as we see first-class rugby taken to a rural area for the first time. Both these gentlemen are adamant that they don’t just want to speak about transformation, but they want to ‘do’ transformation.”

Smith said that the biggest problem society faces is the disparity between the rich and the poor.

“This game has already received an amazing reception from Zweli Mkhize [Premier of KwaZulu-Natal] and the local government of eThekwini.

“The significance of this match could be far reaching, as the elite and wealthy stretch out a hand to the poor, destitute, the widowed and orphaned of this nation.”

Smith said that it was also significant that eight leading schools (Michaelhouse, George Campbell, Maritzburg College, Kearsney, Westville, Durban High School, Glenwood and Northwood) will play in a seven-a-side tournament on the day as a curtain raiser to the main match.

“This will also be a huge opportunity to identify the rugby talent in KwaZulu-Natal,” Smith said.

John Smit, the Sharks CEO, a former Saracens player and LIV ambassador, agrees.

“A game involving one of Europe’s best teams being played at LIV Village, against one of the best local club sides in a rural community, shows the commitment from everyone to not only raise awareness and much-needed funding for the children of LIV, but also to showcase rugby in an area that wouldn’t usually have such a privilege.”

The main match kicks off at 3 pm.

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