SuperSport Schools Plus

Kearsney College Easter Festival in its seventh year

By Hannes Nienaber , in Rugby | News , at 2014-02-13


Logo-KERF-2014Now in its seventh year, the 2014 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival is certain to attract capacity crowds following the announcement that the event has again attracted many of SA’s top rugby-playing schools.

All 12 participating schools are renowned for their rugby pedigree and were widely regarded as being amongst the top teams in the country at the end of last season.Their participation reinforces the prestigious status of the Kearsney College festival. Logo – KERF 2014

Speaking at this week’s (Tues 11) launch of the 2014 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival, Kearsney headmaster Elwyn van den Aardweg said the festival had grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2008.

This year participating teams are Grey College (Bloemfontein), Affies (Pretoria), Monument (Krugersdorp), EG Jansen (Boksburg), HTS Middelburg (Middelburg), Framesby High (Port Elizabeth), Nico Malan (Humansdorp), Selborne College (East London), Dale College (King William’s Town), with Glenwood, Westville and Kearsney College from host province KZN.

Six fixtures will be held on each of the three play daysand the festival is sure to provide exciting, highly entertaining play.

The Sharks CEO John Smit said they were proud of their association with the festival which, since its inception, has been “a phenomenal success” and attracted the top rugby-playing schools from around the country.

“This event gives youngsters an ideal platform to display their talent and ability; and, who knows, they could be scouted to play at a higher level,” he said.

Talent scouts from The Sharks and Sharks Academy would be watching during the three play days, scheduled over the Easter weekend for Thursday 17, Saturday 19 and Monday 21 April. Some of SA’s finest rugby talent will be on display at Kearsney over the festival and the event provides opportunities for youngsters to be noticed and advance their rugby careers at provincial and national level.

Etienne Fynn, CEO of the Sharks Academy, said the partnership between the Academy and Kearsney’s prestigious festival continued to be one of mutual growth and success. Well over 100 players identified at Kearsney festivals since 2008 hadjoined the Sharks family; and the calibre of both individual and team play throughout the years had brought great pleasure to all observers, he said.

The Sharks Academy will offer full bursaries for 2015 to three selected players. Backed by The Sharks, arguably the most professional rugby union in SA, the bursaries will include a contract with the Sharks Academy, accommodation and a tuition bursary with one of its reputable education partners.

Van den Aardweg acknowledged the festival sponsors, whose valued supporthas enabled the festival to grow remarkably over the years. Standard Bank, which last year became headline sponsor in a four-year agreement, were thanked for their incredible support. The Sharks and Sharks Academy have supported the Kearsney festival since its inception, whilst Illovo Sugar South Africa Limited remained a valued sponsor, together with Nashua Durban and several other partners and companies, he said.

Darrell de Wet, marketing and communications manager at Illovo Sugar, said the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival had proved not only to be a forum for rugby, but also to be an environment for learners to explore possible future career paths.

“Illovo Sugar’s support and involvement in the festival is testament to its belief that investing in the youth of South Africa, to develop leadership, discipline and talent, is fundamental to building a better future for the country,” he said.

Nashua Durban managing director Martin Pretorius said an event of this magnitude enabled youngsters from across SA to showcase their skills, allowed them to play in front of large crowds and experience a wonderful festival atmosphere.“We are proud to be part of the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival culture and will strive to keep supporting this prestigious sporting event,” he said.

Festival director Taff Green said he was delighted to welcome back Selborne College, who has played in every one of the Kearsney festivals since inception. EG Jansen has played in six Kearsney festivals and Grey College, Glenwood and Dale College have each participated in five.

A match between three primary school teams and the KZN u13 Provincial Development team, invited to showcase their skills and to enjoy the opportunity of playing in front of large crowds, will kick off each day’s action.


Hannes Nienaber