Springbok legends go back to school to help improve rugby safety

2012-07-19 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Eight former Springboks, all of them part of the South African Rugby Legends’ Association (Sarla), successfully completed the Bok­Smart Rugby Safety course and attended an IRB level 2 coaching workshop in Cape Town this week.

New Sarla CEO Stefan Terblanche, Dale Santon, Pieter Muller, Adrian Jacobs, Quinton Davids, McNeil Hendricks, Wayne Julies and Norman Jordaan were among several former professional rugby players who completed the South African Rugby Union’s (Saru) rugby safety programme on Tuesday.

Dr Wayne Viljoen, BokSmart Manager at Saru, said the former players had an important role to play in their communities to ensure the game became safer.

“People look up to Springbok rugby players and they are the ones who set examples in their communities, which is why we’re very happy that they have taken time out from their busy schedules to complete the Bok­Smart course,” said Viljoen.

“Through their involvement with Sarla, they also play a very important development role in South African rugby, which is where we would like to see them implement what they’ve learned at the course.

“Rugby safety is something that affects all of us, from the young kids playing barefoot up to Springbok level, and it’s very important that the right techniques and actions are learnt from a young age.”

Twenty-two former Springboks and provincial players attended the IRB level 2 RPL (recognition for prior learning) workshop at DHL Newlands yesterday.

The workshop is a joint venture between Saru’s coaching development department and Sarla to start a process to accredit former national and provincial players who want to pursue a career in coaching. This will be the first in a series of RPL workshops to accredit former players and experienced coaches.

Terblanche, who recently retired from the game after playing in 37 Tests for South Africa and more than 400 first-class matches for Boland, the Sharks, and Ulster, said ploughing back into rugby was vitally important to grow the game.

“BokSmart is something anyone involved in rugby — be it as a top-level player, coach, referee or a serious supporter — should get behind,” said Terblanche.

“As former Springboks, we take rugby safety very seriously, and therefore have all taken the time to get ourselves BokSmart certified accordingly. There should be no excuses for anyone involved in rugby or coaching at any level not to complete the BokSmart course. Rugby has given most of us so much over many years and it’s time we gave back to the game we all love so much.”

Former provincial players who joined the eight ex-Boks on both courses include Andries Human, Clarke Roberts, David Hendricks, Faiek Hendricks, Fareed Theunissen, Trevor Arendse and Eugene Maqwelana.

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