On 24 October 2016, the Blue Bulls Rugby Union was awarded the Best Development Department in South Africa at the SA Rugby Awards. It is a massive privilege with it being the first year that SA Rugby has introduced the category.
The ceremony took place at Gallaher Estate Conference Centre and the category shared the limelight with others such as Player of the Year, Junior Player of the Year and Team of the Year to only mention a few. The department which has been an essential part of the BBRU since 2001, is fronted by Johan Schoeman, who acts as the General Manager.
The department’s core focus is to sustain, grow and promote the game of rugby as well as capacitating officials involved in the sport. The BBRU Department of Game Development comprises of a General Manager, Training & Education Manager, Referees Manager and 4 Area Development Managers as well as 2 Administration staff and a Limpopo office comprising of 5 staff in total. They are all structured under the direction of the Union CEO, Dr. Eugene Hare and President, Mr. Gert Wessels and their admin support.
When asked what he thought made it all possible, Mr. Johan Schoeman had the following to say; “It is thanks to a well-structured development plan supported by dedicated staff to manage the programme”
Support from outside role players are also imperative to the success of the Unions development actions, such as the Let’s Play project which is funded by SuperSport: Let’s Play and the Vuka Project which is funded by the South African Rugby Legends Association among other projects.
“I am very pleased with the inclusion of the category at the ceremony as this is most often the sort of work that goes unnoticed and does not always feature in the limelight. We have a good department and it is well deserved.” – Dr. Eugene Hare, CEO of the BBRU
The BBRU is eager to maintain the standard they have set and are looking forward to continuously improving into 2017 season.