Gavin Varejes was on hand to proudly host Francois Louw and Eben Etzebeth at the Richmark Holdings offices, to celebrate both players reaching 50 test caps. Varejes, President of the South African Rugby Legends Association, expressed the pride that he and fellow South Africans felt on seeing the two young players reach this outstanding career milestone. He described their achievements as a testament to their passion and love for the game.
Etzebeth and Louw visited the Richmark Holding offices, where they had lunch, were presented with gifts and looked over the impressive collection of memorabilia that Gavin Varejes had compiled over a 20 year period. The group posed for a photograph in front of a collector's piece that commemorated the Boks' 2007 World Cup victory, with a signed team photo and player jersey.
What Is SARLA?
The South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) is a not-for-profit company that is committed to fostering grassroots rugby in South Africa, while preserving the interests of the Legends. The Legends are a group of individuals who have formerly made a significant contribution to rugby in the areas of playing, coaching, administration and refereeing. The group fundraises and organises a variety of different coaching and training-driven projects, and participates in tournaments and events under the SARLA banner.
Developing Rugby in Underprivileged Communities
At the community level, SARLA's work is delivered via the VUKA program, in partnership with the South African Rugby Union (SARU). The VUKA initiative aims to develop young players in communities that have had limited access to organised rugby training and competitions. Rugby is a great vehicle for teaching young people valuable life skills and instilling confidence and a sense of belonging. While aiming to uplift individuals off the field, VUKA is committed to uncovering talent and broadening the rugby playing base across the country. There is a great athletic skill base in the underprivileged areas of South Africa, where rugby is a minority sport lagging behind football. VUKA aims to steer some of this talent into rugby, and encourage young people to follow in the footsteps of role-models such as Etzebeth and Louw.