The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 55



FORCE FOR GOOD
VUSA: AWAKENING
OPPORTUNITIES
The VUSA Rugby and Learning Academy is a Trust and NPO, and now a foundational
initiative for Bishops to give back to poorer communities. By Nikki Matthews
W
hat began as a latenight plan hatched
years ago by Bishops
Prep teacher Brendan Fogarty
and OD Richard Evans (1994G) to
save South African rugby is now
a structured after-school haven
for 200 primary-school children
in Langa. Initially, children were
bussed in from impoverished
communities to use Bishops
facilities for rugby training, but it
soon became clear that too much
time was being spent travelling
between locations. Additional
needs were also identified: the
children experienced difficulties
academically, primarily with
English and Maths, and by midafternoon, they were sluggish,
and many were obviously hungry.
Fast-forward to 2020, and this
part-time rugby programme is now
based in Langa as a structured
after-school academy, offering
Maths and English support,
rugby as the primary sport, and
a hot meal at the end of each day.
Where possible, the programme
offers recreational outings: a trip
to Newlands to watch rugby, an
outing to the aquarium or the
beach, a hike up Table Mountain.
The eight VUSA coaches are
employed from within the Langa
community. They continue to be
Right: The VUSA Academy
offers rugby as a primary sport.
Opposite: Grade 6 and 7 learners
at Bishops have hosted Langa
schoolchildren at the Prep to help
peer learning and build relationships.
upskilled, and also work with four
registered-partner ECD Centres to
promote numeracy and literacy
development through play.
Bishops provides funding for the
Academy’s operational expenses
and offers administrative support,
and the Trust is made up of
members of its constituencies:
Principal of College (Guy Pearson),
Chair of Council (Simon Peile
(1979F)), Headmaster of Prep
(Greg Brown), Members of the
PA (Charmaine Cheminais and
Delene Mark), ODs (Geoff Brownell
(1969G) and Richard Evans
(1994G)), and head coach and man
on the ground Makabongwe Kahla.
Bishops prides itself on grooming
conscious young men who will
make a mark in the world. This
now starts with involvement
with VUSA. “We hope to show
our boys that a Bishops education
is a powerful privilege, and that it
equips them with the skills needed
to create positive change for the
upliftment of all global citizens,”
says Brendan Fogarty.
To this end, Bishops Grade 10
boys travel to the VUSA ECD
Centres on Thursday afternoons
to assist coaches with the creche
programme. Grade 6 and 7 boys
have been on outings to Langa, and
have hosted Langa schoolchildren
at the Prep. For those involved,
it has been incredible to witness
the breaking down of barriers as
children of different ages, races,
cultures and socio-economic
backgrounds interact.
It is VUSA’s goal to develop
a hub of excellence in Langa. By
partnering with corporates, Bishops
and UCT, we hope to create a
conduit to tertiary education.
VUSA is a newly registered
grassroots programme, with
its heart firmly in Langa and its
backbone in Bishops. We call on
ODs to support the programme
through volunteering, equipment
donations or funding. VUSA is
a registered PBO, so donations
are receipted with a Section 18a
certificate. It has a Level 1 BBBEE
procurement recognition level.
For more info on VUSA, see
www.vusarugbyacademy.com.
For VUSA’s relation to the
Bishops Trust, see p87. And
for the ODU strategy, see p82.

VUSA website





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