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Kearsney College Easter Festival a top class schools’ tournament

By Hannes Nienaber , in News , at 8 February 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival has grown from strength to strength and the quality of participating schools this year is testimony to the fact it has become the country’s premier schools rugby event.

Some of South Africa’s best Under 19 talent will be participating this year, which bodes well for highly entertaining and exciting rugby over the three play days.

The line-up of participating teams includes nine schools which were in the top 20 of respected Rugby 365 rankings during the 2012 season.

Participating teams are Grey College from Bloemfontein; Paarl Gymnasium and newcomer Boland Landbou from Paarl, Paul Roos from Stellenbosch and Outeniqua High from George; Framesby High from Port Elizabeth, Nico Malan from Humansdorp and East London’s Selborne College; EG Jansen from Boksburg; with Glenwood, Westville and Kearsney College from host province KZN.

Many gifted players have been discovered by talent scouts at the previous five Kearsney College festivals and now play for SA Sevens and Sharks teams.

Hans Scriba, head of the Sharks Academy, said the festival played an important role in exposing the quality of available young talent.

“From the Sharks Academy’s perspective, we are delighted with the quality of talented players who have joined us after school, having come through the festival at Kearsney.  Many of these players are already achieving wonderful results at the Sharks,” he said.

Scriba said that talent scouts from The Sharks and Sharks Academy would be on the lookout during the three play days, scheduled over the Easter weekend for Thursday 28 March, Saturday 30 and Monday 1 April.

The Academy will offer three full bursaries to selected players for 2014.  Backed by The Sharks, arguably the most professional rugby union in SA, the bursaries will include a contract with the Sharks Academy, accommodation and tuition bursary with one of its reputable education partners.

Kearsney headmaster Elwyn van den Aardweg said he was delighted to welcome Standard Bank as the festival’s headline sponsor.   It would partner with Kearsney in a multi-year deal and their commitment was testimony to the stature and prestige of the festival. 

“Standard Bank’s involvement adds tremendous value to the festival and, together with the continued support of Illovo Sugar (South Africa) Ltd and the Sharks Academy, will ensure that the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival continues to grow from strength to strength in the years ahead, consolidating the position of this Easter rugby festival as the premier schoolboy rugby festival in the country.”

He said the event had emerged as a highlight on the sporting calendars of all lovers of top class schoolboy rugby.

“Thousands of supporters from KZN and further afield flock to Kearsney over the Easter weekend to savour the spectacle of running rugby, to enjoy the special family atmosphere on our beautiful campus and to experience the fun and excitement of the festival,” he said.

Funeka Montjane, CEO of Personal and Business Banking at Standard Bank South Africa, said they were thrilled to be involved with the Kearsney festival for the first time.  It followed their successful sponsorship last year of the three Gauteng Easter rugby festivals, held at St John’s College, St Stithians and King Edward VII (KES).
 
She said whilst the partnership would enable Standard Bank to grow its market, it would enable young people and their families from all social groups to interact positively through the medium of sport.

Darrell de Wet, marketing and communications manager at Illovo Sugar, said the company’s support and involvement in the festival was testament to its belief that investing in the youth of South Africa, to develop leadership, discipline and talent, was fundamental to building a better future for the country.

“The festival has proven not only to be a forum for rugby, but also to be an environment for learners to interact with business and explore possible career paths in the future,” De Wet said.

Festival organiser Taff Green said he was delighted with the strength and quality of teams taking part this year, ensuring that the festival continued as an important event for supporters of top-class schoolboy rugby, whilst also providing the obvious benefits to the game in the province.

“We have another incredible line-up of talent participating in this year’s festival – and supporters will definitely not be disappointed.  This is schoolboy rugby at its very best,” he said.

Kicking off play each day will be a match between primary school teams, invited to showcase their skills and to enjoy the opportunity of playing in front of large crowds.  Participating sides are Highbury Preparatory, Westville Senior Primary, Glenwood Preparatory and the KZN u13 Provincial Development team.

PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS

Final FNB Rugby Rankings according to Rugby 365, as at the end of the 2012 season:
Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl   3
Grey College, Bloemfontein  4
Outeniqua Hoer Skool, George  5
Paul Roos, Stellenbosch   8
Boland Landbou, Paarl   13
Hoerskool Dr EG Jansen, Boksburg 18
Kearsney College, Botha’s Hill  19
Hoerskool Framesby, Port Elizabeth 20
Glenwood High School, Durban  In top 20 during the season 
Nico Malan High, Humansdorp
Selborne College, East London    
Westville Boys’ High, Durban   
KZN Primary Schools
Glenwood Preparatory
Highbury Preparatory
Westville Senior Primary
KZN u13 Provincial Development Team      

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