Vodacom Bulletjies in carnival of rugby

May 9 • General News, Super Rugby • 1511 Views • Comments Off on Vodacom Bulletjies in carnival of rugby

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Loftus Versfeld was a carnival of rugby as close to 6000 little boys and girls aged from 6 to 8 years participated in the annual Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby Day on Saturday.

Now in its 22nd year, the annual event is a highlight on the rugby calendar in Pretoria as approximately 12000 parents, friends and family members ascend on the famous stadium for the festival of rugby.

The day once again succeeded in its primary goal of instilling sportsmanship, a love for rugby and the Vodacom Bulls franchise.

It continues to grip the imagination as screaming parents direct their budding young players from the side-lines.

Emulating their Vodacom Bulls heroes the pint-sized players execute swan dives over the line while the odd player takes off with the ball in the wrong direction.

Although the parents’ vocal antics on the side of the field add to the festivities they are reminded that Vodacom Bulletjie rugby is not about competition but rather about the principles that rugby teaches everyone that plays the game.

The mutual respect and the honesty it teaches those who are involved with the game lies at the heart of what makes the Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby Day such a memorable occasion.

Since the launch of Vodacom Bulletjie rugby back in 1993 it has grown into the biggest mini-rugby project in South Africa and the first initiative of its kind in the country.

This year has seen its biggest entries yet as nearly a thousand additional boys and girls participated in the annual event compared to 2014.

More than 600 teams consisting of 5,927 players played their part in the day that can only be described as controlled chaos.

The day is a massive logistical operation as organisers scramble and oversee the smooth running of games for the 197 Under-6 teams (1598 players), 237 U-7 teams (2125) and 218 U-8 teams (2177 players).

Vodacom’s Janus Kloppers, Brand Manager – Sponsorships & Regional marketing said: “The Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby Day is succeeding in its goal of uniting people from different walks of life thanks to the shared love of rugby”.

“Rugby is truly a sport for everyone as little boys and girls of all shapes and sizes get to experience camaraderie and the joy of playing the game.”

The first formal Vodacom Bulletjie Rugby 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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