Last year, in an attempt to grow stadium attendance at home games the Steval Pumas started an informal arrangement with the local schools to put their banners up a week before each home game in a visible place where parents drop and collect kids. This initiative appeared to work really well as it gave the union added exposure and visibility. This year the program has been formalized by asking each school to select an ideal candidate to officially put up their banners and be a Steval Pumas Ambassador.
Pieter Burger, CEO of Mpumalanga Rugby is extremely excited about the initiative and said the team wishes to get more involved in the community and create everlasting memories.
“The program not only aims at engaging bright future young talent but also serves as a reminder to the community to support their local sporting heroes. We have a responsibility to the people to be a team that they are proud to support, on and off the field, and we take that responsibility very seriously. The lovely people of the province and city in return has rugby’s future in the province in their hands,” said Burger.
“Whether you are in grade one and adore Pumaki, in grade 12 supporting your favorite player, or a mother and father taking the kids out for a day of fun at Mbombela stadium, your support and the memories we create together will determine the future of the sport in the region. We want to thank all the schools, staff, parents and supporters from the bottom of our hearts. Without you, nothing would be possible.’’
In return for the learners’ commitment, the Steval Pumas School Ambassador will receive five tickets to each home game, plus a specially designed, limited edition Steval Pumas School Ambassador game day shirt, the prestigious title of being a Steval Pumas School Ambassador and the opportunity to assist the team with community and charity events.
Also, one lucky ambassador will get the opportunity to run on the field with the ball before kick-off at their next home game. This incentive will continue through to the Currie Cup Premier Division where the Steval Pumas first home game will be on the 23rd of July against the Xerox Golden Lions.
Marius Coetzee, the Steval Pumas School Ambassador in Laerskool Bergland said he is very proud to have been chosen for this project.
“I love rugby and all activities associated with it and this is truly an awesome opportunity. I really hope they pick my name to run on the field with the provincial team,” said Coetzee.
Showing his expertise in the game of rugby, Coetzee who plays in his school’s first rugby team gave the following reasons for why the Steval Pumas is such a great team:
“They really play the ball and keep the ball in the air. This is important and shows that the team is focused.”
The participating schools so far are:
- Hoërskool Bergvlam
- Curro Nelspruit
- Penryn College
- Hoërskool Nelspruit
- Nelspruit Primary School
- Laerskool Bergland
- Laerskool Laeveld
- Lowveld High School
- Laerskool Nelspruit
- White River Primary
Be sure to keep an eye out on Steval Pumas social media platforms such as Facebook for pictures of these school’s ambassadors and support Mpumalanga’s golden boys. The banners for our first home game in the Premier Currie Cup go up in the 2nd week of July in preparation for when the Steval Pumas take on the Xerox Golden Lions at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday, 23 July. Kick-off is at 14:30.