SA Rugby announced a ground-breaking three-year deal on Wednesday that leading African energy brand Engen will power rugby development programme, Get Into Rugby, and become the official fuel supplier of the Springboks, until 2023.
The Get Into Rugby programme – which forms part of World Rugby’s strategy to grow the game globally and encourage players of all ages to try, play and stay in rugby – is a grassroots development initiative, with its reach extending across all nine provinces in South Africa.
In 2019 alone 177 034 young girls and boys participated in the programme, while 1486 coaches, 1110 teachers, and 427 referees have been trained since 2016.
The programme was launched as a pilot project in 2013 and 2014, and was rolled out nationally in 2015, developing into SA Rugby’s biggest development initiative.
“Get Into Rugby forms a vital cog in the growth and development of the sport in South Africa for girls and boys, and we are delighted to have a leading brand in Engen as the official sponsor of the programme,” said SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander.
“It is through programmes such as these that we can untap the hidden talent in both the rural and urban areas across the country, and develop the next generation of Siya Kolisi’s and Makazole Mapimpi’s.
“With 82% of the programme’s participants last year being African and 18% coloured, with 49% of them girls, Get Into Rugby truly reflects our objectives, especially in terms of transformation and equipping young girls to take up rugby.”
Mr Alexander added: “Sport worldwide is experiencing one of the most challenging times ever in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to have a major brand and partner such as Engen join hands with us in such trying times for all industries illustrates the quality of Engen as a partner, and their trust in SA Rugby, Get Into Rugby and the Springboks.”
Engen Managing Director and CEO, Yusa’ Hassan, said: “Engen is extremely honoured to be the Springboks official fuel partner and SA Rugby’s official Get Into Rugby partner.
“As a company, Engen strives for integrity, teamwork, and performing at the highest level every day – all characteristics at the heart of the three-time world rugby champions.
“SA Rugby have a sharp attention to dependability and working for a greater purpose, another characteristic shared with Engen!
“Our partnership with the Get Into Rugby initiative will help ensure Rugby continues to flourish at the community level upwards so that South Africa can keep producing winning teams and exciting their passionate fanbase.”