SA Rugby’s youth development ladder has received a boost with the announcement that Carfind has signed a two-year deal to become the title sponsor of the annual Legends Iqhawe Week for Under-15s, which was established and is run by the SA Rugby Legends Association’s (SARLA), with financial assistance from SA Rugby.
The deal with the online automotive sales search platform, means the tournament will be known as the Carfind.co.za Legends Iqhawe Week. This year, it takes place at the Bill Jardine Stadium in Johannesburg from 3 to 6 October, with U15 teams from all 14 provincial unions competing.
The provincial teams are drawn from non-traditional or newly established rugby schools and has quickly become an important part of the development landscape. This year 26 players from the 2015 Iqhawe Week appeared at the Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week for under-16 players.
“SARLA has done exceptionally well to build this Under-15 week up to a prestigious tournament and it’s wonderful to see Carfind.co.za get involved to further boost the Legends Iqhawe Week,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
“It was clear at our U16 and U18 Youth Weeks earlier this year that the Legends Iqhawe Week plays an important role in the development of younger players as it’s bridging the gap between U13 and U16 rugby and we’re excited to be working with SARLA on this venture.”
SARLA CEO and former Springbok wing Stefan Terblanche was equally excited about the new sponsorship and the prospects of improving the tournament.
“We have been running this tournament successfully with SA Rugby’s backing for the past three years,” said SARLA CEO and former Springbok wing Stefan Terblanche.
“The aim being to give development rugby teams a national platform to play in and a chance for some of these talented youngsters to be identified for future development in our SA rugby structures.”
The Carfind.co.za Legends Iqhawe Week forms part of SARLA’s rugby development programme, which also includes Vuka Rugby and the Legends Cup.
“Carfind.co.za is a proudly South African company that has a strong philosophy of believing in, as well as investing in the youth and ultimately the future of our country,” said Carfind.co.za’s Marketing and Insight Executive Kevin van Deventer.
“We are excited to have been afforded the opportunity to partner with SARLA in support of an initiative like their Legends Iqhawe Week, which helps grow and develop South Africa’s youth.
“The Carfind.co.za Legends Iqhawe Week is also a project that has long-term sustainability, it’s not only about the one week tournament, but about a year long programme around the country that gets these youngsters out onto the playing fields, and away from the negative influences that so many of them may be exposed to where they come from.”
“We are proud of our track record in helping to unlock potential talent at this development level,” said Terblanche.
“This is a record number for us, and is proof that there is such an incredible amount of talent in the non-traditional rugby playing schools and, via this programme, they are given an opportunity to further their rugby.”