The partnership between the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) and The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, will for the third year, see a team of U/12s taking part in the Monaco tournament.
The tour forms part of the ongoing South Africa-Monaco Rugby Exchange Programme set up between SARLA, The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and the Monaco Rugby Federation.
Cell C, who has supported this initiative since its inception three years ago, will this year be the headline sponsor.
“We’re a proud sponsor of the South African Rugby Legends Association and are delighted to be associated with this tournament that provides young talent from underprivileged backgrounds the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of Monaco, whilst honing their rugby skills,” said Doug Mattheus, Executive Head: Marketing.
“For many of these youngsters, it will be the first time they leave the borders of South Africa and we’re humbled to be part of this initiative that provides them with such an incredible opportunity,” added Mattheus.
SARLA’s Pieter Muller said: “Traveling to Monaco is a once in a lifetime experience for most people. In the last three years, the members of the traveling Legends team were all treated to the finest experience in every facet.
In 2015, the first year of the tournament, SARLA fielded a team from Orchards Primary School in Johannesburg – their selection assisted by the Lions Rugby Union Development Programme. The 2016 team was selected in association with the JAG Foundation’s Rugby project in Cape Town from schools in the Bonteheuwel area.
“At SARLA our business is rugby but it is a wonderful honour to make dreams a reality for rugby-loving kids in South Africa. I have no doubt that this year`s tournament will again be a dream come true for 12 boys,” said SARLA’s CEO, Stefan Terblanche.
“As it’s a 7s tournament, we are privileged to have the support of Blitz Bok coach, Neil Powell and 7s Academy and Elite squad manager, Marius Schoeman,” he added.
The young players, while in Monaco, will not only get the opportunity to showcase their rugby skills in the tournament, but will also be treated to a variety of fun activities in the Principality. The tournament includes teams from around the world.
A highlight of the trip will be meeting former South Africa Olympian and Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco, Charlene.
Gavin Varejes, President of SARLA: “The objective of the tournament is to highlight the values that participation in a sport like rugby has - fun, fellowship, camaraderie, friendship and good sportsmanship as well as a chance to meet and engage with youth from other cultures. We’re extremely grateful to Cell C for making this fantastic opportunity possible through their generous ongoing sponsorship.”
The young players, when in Monaco, not only get the opportunity to play in the tournament, but are treated to a variety of fun activities in the Principality.
Their adventure of a lifetime will see them arrive in Nice Coted’Azur on March 14.
A highlight will be meeting Princess Charlene, at two events - one is at the pool where the youngsters are given a master class in water safety and at a cultural exchange programme with local youth.
A visit to the RC Toulon Centre, the French professional rugby club based in Toulon, will include the young players meeting their rugby heroes as well as watching them train.
The young SA team will train with the Singapore u/12 rugby team in the famous Stade Leo Lagrange, a stadium usually used for football matches, that holds 10500 spectators.
Apart from rugby, the boys will be part of a sea rescue session at Larvotto beach, Monaco’s playground for the rich and famous.
The Sainte Dévote Tournament takes place on Saturday March 18 at Stade Louis II.
On Sunday, the team will be treated to a day of fun at Marineland Park in Antibes before heading home on Monday the 20th.