Date: 23/1/17

South African Rugby League has been awarded a youth development grant through the Australian government’s Direct Aid Programme. The $10,000 award will be matched dollar-for-dollar by South Africa Rugby League and will see the sport played in the schools of Pretoria.

It is envisaged that the programme will then be continued throughout other rugby league playing areas within the nation.

The monies from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s aid budget is a result of work done by the Rugby League European Federation’s Middle East Africa department, which has already been successful in sourcing funding for Lebanon’s schools rugby league programme.

RLEF MEA director Remond Safi, noted: “Building and implementing programmes such as these will help establish sustainability within the nation’s rugby league structure and aid in further developing the sport. I would like to thank the DFAT for all their support and look forward to building and strengthening cultural programs between Australia and the MEA region over the coming years.”

Safi has partnered with Comyn Solutions, which co-developed a Sport for Life programme. The Direct Aid Programme is a small grants scheme designed to assist organisations working at community level in fields such as poverty alleviation, education, sanitation, health, human rights, rural development and conservation.

Comyn Solutions’ Shaun Cumming said: “Rugby league is a fantastic sport that can be used in developing countries to promote education, health and social development. We are harvesting this power to encourage and promote school attendance, educational outcomes, social cohesiveness and healthy living in our RLEF MEA member nations.”

SARL President Kobus Botha added: “We are grateful to the Australian government for their generous contribution and hope that together we can make South Africa a better place.”