A lot has been said in favour, and a lot against the current levels of professionalism in South African schoolboy rugby. Schools are employing various consultants and specialists from outside of the school to improve their team's performances. A lot of money is spent on attracting promising stars to these schools, with a few million being spend on upgrading gymnasiums and other facilities. Boys are getting exposed to a high level of training and development. And all parties agree that this is only the beginning.
Whether or not you agree with the current state of affairs, all have to agree that the children must still be the only focus point. Schoolboy rugby is still a part of school activities where the education of children is the major objective. So all "professionals" involved must adapt their behavior to serve these schools and children in a manner that will be to the advantage of the learners. Easier said than done.
The rugby community was shocked this week when the services of Hans Coetzee was terminated. A lot of accusations was made regarding the conduct of Monnas and its management. Monnas replied with a short and simple statement saying that Hans Coetzee was contracted as Director of Rugby at the school. They decided not to renew his contract and informed him of their decision 12 months before the end of his contract. He requested that they extend his contract which was denied. The reasons not given for their decision but I am sure not required by the contract of employment either.
This morning it was reported : " Monument 1st XV coach Hans Coetzee’s contract will not be renewed by the school at the end of 2016. Coetzee, who has coached Monnas for 22 years, was informed on Monday about the decision, but not given any reasons for it. ‘You have to read between the lines,’ Coetzee told Netwerk24. ‘I have a feeling this comes from the parents. They have a vendetta against me. After everything I’ve accomplished, this is the treatment I get. I feel humiliated."
And this is where my attitude against professionalism in schoolboy rugby starts to grow. If this is the way a professional person handles the termination of his contract in the private sector other employers will take note and not employ him.
Unfortunately children is involved and a team is torn in two. Those whose parents like Hans Coetzee and those whose parents is allegedly responsible for his dismissal. Tomorrow these boys must all perform as a team against KES. Today 25 plus boys disadvantaged by the irresponsibility from a "professional".
Please note I do not take side in this saga. Oom Hans is well known and respected as a coach by all involved in the rugby community, so is Monnas. I also question the wisdom of Monnas' decision, especially in this era of rugby professionalism at schools. I just can not condone the reaction of Hans Coetzee and his supporters. Sorry Oom Hans but the children must come first.