FNB Classic Clashes, one of South Africa’s major school sport events, celebrates 15 years of developing and nurturing talented young rugby and netball players.
The concept started in the beginning of the millennium, focusing on schools rugby with 20 schools participating in ten FNB Classic Clashes per season. Over the years, this number has since grown to accommodate 103 schools competing in 53 games countrywide.
In 2009 the Bank introduced netball as part of the competition and this has grown to 28 netball FNB Classic Clashes that form part of the annual fixtures.
“Our involvement in the FNB Classic Clashes forms part of our sponsorship strategy which is fundamentally focused on developing and supporting South Africa’s youth through sport”, says Mari van Niekerk, Senior Communication and Sponsorship Manager at FNB.
“The competition has earned an excellent reputation at school level and plays a vital role in developing and nurturing young and upcoming sporting talent in South Africa. It has enabled FNB to develop relationships with the schools, teachers, parents and the communities around the schools,” adds van Niekerk.
“We have taken the competition to a whole new level and included 10 of the epic FNB Classic Clashes on SuperSport. These schools get to showcase the sporting talent of their learners, and also have the opportunity to profile their schools on national television,” says van Niekerk.
As schoolboy rugby grew in popularity, attracting substantial audiences, FNB was inspired to develop ‘schoolboy rugby’ into ‘student rugby’, which later influenced the creation of the FNB Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield, which has grown to become one of the biggest and most popular university rugby competitions in South Africa.
“FNB will continue investing in different sporting codes to empower and develop young people. We are proud to be part of efforts to enable sports development in the country, and thereby creating a pipeline of talent for national and provincial squads,” concludes van Niekerk.