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SA Rugby Transformation Plan Shows Progress on and Off the Field

  • May 20, 2024
  • 3 min read
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SA Rugby Transformation Plan Shows Progress on and Off the Field

The latest internal audit of South African Rugby’s Strategic Transformation Development Plan (STDP) for 2030 (STDP 2030) reveals positive progress, according to Mark Alexander, President of the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

“We’re very pleased with the overall performance,” Alexander said in a statement on Monday. “Provincial Unions displayed strong commitment, exceeding their self-set targets. While team demographics remain a challenge in some areas, pathways for transformation are improving, which is a positive sign for the future.”

The STDP 2030 goes beyond on-field performance. It encompasses all aspects of rugby operations, including procurement, governance, staffing, committees, and, of course, team demographics.

“Transformation is a journey,” Alexander emphasized. “While on-field progress is evident at all levels, the STDP 2030 addresses other crucial areas of diversity and inclusion.” These areas include:

  • Access to the game
  • Skills and capacity development
  • Demographic representation
  • Performance
  • Community development and social responsibility
  • Corporate governance

Springboks Reflect Progress, But Performance Remains Key

“The strides made under Rassie Erasmus’ leadership with the national teams exemplify this improvement,” Alexander continued. “While Springbok demographics have targets, performance is equally important, and we’re demonstrably on the right track on both fronts.”

He addressed recent media criticism, stating, “Misleading headlines often exaggerate the situation. SARU has a broader perspective on transformation.”

Beyond Diversity: Fostering an Inclusive Culture

“Inclusion is just as crucial as diversity,” Alexander explained. “It ensures everyone feels valued and heard within the team environment.”

“Our commitment goes beyond simply having diverse representation. We actively foster an inclusive culture where every player, regardless of background, feels valued and can contribute.”

Springboks: Reflecting Available Talent and Building Opportunities

“The Springboks represent the best players available each year,” Alexander clarified. “They reflect the current talent pool, and significant progress is being made in creating opportunities and developing new heroes for all communities.”

He further highlighted the Springbok team’s positive impact on social cohesion within South Africa. “The recent honorary doctorate awarded to Rassie Erasmus is well-deserved. He understands the meaning of being South African. He selects players based on their contribution to the team and their commitment to each other.”

A Continuous Improvement Process

“The STDP is a journey with a set goal of 2030,” Alexander concluded. “Annual reports serve as a way to track progress, celebrate successes, and identify areas for continued improvement.”

Although the Springboks didn’t score any tries in the Rugby World Cup final last year against New Zealand, but two black players – Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi, crossed the try line in the 2019 World Cup final. This highlights the positive results the STDP (Strategic Transformation Development Plan) is starting to yield.

Picture courtesy of SARU

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