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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Springboks on Track: SA Rugby Transformation Progress

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Pretoria, 20 May 2024: Positive strides have been made in transforming South African rugby, according to the South African Rugby Union (SA Rugby). This comes after an internal audit of the Strategic Transformation Development Plan 2030 (STDP 2030).

Focus Beyond the Field:

Mark Alexander, SA Rugby President, expressed satisfaction with the overall performance. He highlighted the commitment of Provincial Unions in achieving their self-set transformation goals. While acknowledging challenges in team demographics, Mr. Alexander emphasized the positive development of pathways within the sport.

The STDP 2030 goes beyond on-field representation. It encompasses crucial areas like governance, staffing, procurement, and committee structures.

Balancing Transformation and Performance:

Mr. Alexander emphasized the ongoing nature of transformation. He pointed to the progress evident in national teams under the leadership of Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus.

"We have demographic targets for the Springboks," he said, "but we also have performance targets that we won't compromise on. We're definitely on the right track with both."

Recent media discussions around transformation were acknowledged, with Mr. Alexander stating that headlines often create a disproportionate picture.

Building an Inclusive Culture:

Inclusion is a key aspect of SA Rugby's strategy, ensuring everyone feels valued and heard within the team environment.

"Our commitment goes beyond diverse representation," Mr. Alexander explained. "We are dedicated to fostering an inclusive culture where every player, regardless of background, feels valued."

Springboks Reflecting Available Talent:

The Springbok selection process prioritizes the best players available for national representation each year. This reflects the current talent pool, while demonstrating progress in creating opportunities for new heroes from diverse communities.

The Springbok team's contribution to social cohesion was also highlighted. Mr. Alexander praised the recent honorary doctorate awarded to Rassie Erasmus, acknowledging his understanding of what it means to be South African.

Continuous Improvement:

The STDP 2030 is a long-term plan with a target completion date of 2030. Annual reports provide a mechanism for measuring progress, celebrating successes, and identifying areas for further improvement.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

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