Vodacom Bulletjie Day grows exponentially

May 4 • General News, School, Super Rugby • 1914 Views • Comments Off on Vodacom Bulletjie Day grows exponentially

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The annual Vodacom Bulletjie Day at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, May 9 will see a record amount budding Vodacom Bulletjie rugby players take to the field.

Thanks to the efforts of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union the sport’s reach has grown exponentially and kids from the development clusters will be participating en masse.

Vodacom Bulletjie rugby is the biggest mini-rugby project in South Africa and the first initiative of its kind in the country.

Chairmam of Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby, Riaan Langenhoven said the increase in numbers equates to a massive logistical operation as they have to cater for nearly a thousand little boys and girls aged from 6 to 8 years.

“The increase in our numbers is down to the good work the Blue Bulls Rugby Union is doing at our youth clubs and development schools,” Langenhoven said.

“We have seen good growth at our youth clubs that join us for the Vodacom Bulletjie Day which has given us the boost to 5,927 participants – more than 600 teams will be participating on the day.”

The Vodacom Bulletjie Day is one of the highlights on the calendar at Loftus Versfeld where the logistical arrangements can only be described as ‘miraculous’.

This year there will be 197 Under-6 teams (1598 players), 237 U-7 teams (2125) and 218 U-8 teams (2177 players) learning the true meaning of sportsmanship.

“Since I’ve been involved over the last eight years, this will be the largest number of teams from rural areas involved in our development initiatives,” Langenhoven said.

“The union should be commended for putting the clinics in place and Vodacom for supplying the facilities and the equipment to get the children involved.”

“Approximately 100 teams will be coming from our youth clubs, which we did not have in the past.”

The day is not only a special occasion for the little ones playing on the B, C and D fields at Loftus Versfeld but also for the approximately 12,000 parents that dream of one day watching their kids donning the Light Blue jersey.

Vodacom’s Janus Kloppers, Brand Manager – Sponsorships & Regional marketing said: “We are absolutely delighted to see Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby fulfilling its role in developing a love for rugby and in essence widening the pool of South Africa’s future rugby talent.”

“With a strong emphasis on participation and integration, the Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby Day embodies all the important values of rugby.”

The growth of the Vodacom Bulletjie Day is nothing short of amazing since the first formal day was held at Loftus Versfeld in 1996 where 2000 boys had the unique experience of playing at the famous stadium.

In Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby players do not tackle each other; instead each player wears a ribbon on either side. When the ball carrier’s ribbon is ‘ripped’, they must pass the ball to a team mate within three seconds or three steps.

After passing the ball, the player must re-attach the ribbon to their belt before taking part in the game again. The player executing the ‘rip’ shouts “rip”, and holds the ribbon up in the air. The referee will then acknowledge the ‘rip’.

The player who performed the ‘rip’ must hand the ribbon back to the opponent immediately – only thereafter may the player participate in play.


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