By hosting stakeholders who are actively contributing to sports development in South Africa, FNB shon a spotlight on youth sports development. At a gathering attended by former Springbok captains John Smit and Francois Pienaar, FNB revealed that since launching eight years ago, the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International has produced over 948 players that have progressed to professional ranks. The annual competition has produced players for the Springbok (15), Springbok Sevens (28), Super Rugby (196), Currie Cup (375) and Currie Cup First Division (334).
Well-known Springbok regulars such as Handré Pollard (University of Pretoria), Damian De Allende and Eben Etzebeth (University of Cape Town) are some of the players who came through the FNB Varsity Cup. Emerging talent such as Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (University of Free State), Nizaam Carr (University Of Cape Town), Trevor Nyakane (Central University of Technology) as well as Loodewyk De Jager (North-West University) are also former students who were part of the competition.
“We are delighted with the contribution of our youth sports development programmes in creating a pipeline of exciting talent for provincial and national teams. Our long term commitment is to empower South Africa’s youth through sports and we are thrilled to see young people using our platforms to showcase their talent in pursuit of their dreams,” said Faye Mfikwe, FNB Chief Marketing Officer.
Mfikwe adds that even though the FNB Varsity Cup has enjoyed great success since inception, other sponsorship properties such as the FNB Classic Clashes and FNB Football First are equally growing in popularity.
“Since launching 14 years ago, the FNB Classic Clashes has been promoting sports development at school level, focusing on rugby and netball. After starting with only six schools, the FNB Classic Clashes rapidly grew and currently features 104 schools countrywide, regularly attracting between 3 000 and 12 000 spectators per match.”
FNB also hosts the annual FNB Football First which takes place in selected regions across the country, where dedicated professionals conduct coaching clinics with young football players. In 2014, FNB Football First had 39 schools and 29 439 school children participating in the programme.
The most recent youth sports development initiative that FNB has embarked on is Varsity Sports, which has been in existence since 2012. Varsity Sports focuses on sporting codes such as Football, Netball, Athletics, Hockey, 7’s Rugby and Beach Volleyball. Varsity Sports has already produced 9 netball players who represented SA at the 2015 Netball World Cup.
Article courtesy: SA Good News