Gavin Varejes, President of South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA), is seen here presenting gifts to Francois Louw and Eben Etzebeth – to commemorate the pair reaching their 50th test caps. Varejes, who is also the Executive Chairman of Richmark Holdings, said how proud he was of the young sportsmen for achieving the fantastic career milestone and making South Africa a great rugby playing nation.
Both players were hosted at the Richmark Holdings offices, where Gavin joined them for lunch. The occasion also served as an excellent opportunity to showcase some of the incredible rugby memorabilia that has been collected over the last two decades by Varejes.
SARLA is a non-profit organisation which aims to develop grassroots rugby in South Africa and promote the objectives of the Legends. Its development initiatives are delivered under the VUKA program, with the majority targeting young players from disadvantaged communities which lack access to structured training and competitions. Run in collaboration with the South African Rugby Union, VUKA aims to nurture players' skills and abilities, and help them on and off the field.
Progress Under VUKA
Over 2,200 young players have received training and support from VUKA’s qualified coaches since 2001. By developing a community through sport, the program has been able to instill a sense of belonging and create aspiration among young players. From a sporting perspective, the work of VUKA is important for strengthening the player pool at a representative level, while also competing for talent in communities where players are much more inclined to take up football.
Who Are the Legends?
The Legends run, coach, train, organise and fundraise for VUKA's projects. They not only give back to the community, but are also ambassadors for the game and the proud values that Rugby stands for in South Africa.
Gavin Varejes is the CEO of Richmark Holdings LTD and the President of SARLA (South African Rugby Legends association)