MyPlayers chats to Border loose forward Nkosikhona Nofuma and Valke front-rower Gihard Visagie about lives as students since joining the MyPlayers Bursary Programme in 2017.
Launched in 2016, the MyPlayers Bursary Programme aims to provide MyPlayers members with partial or full bursaries to players showing commitment to further their formal education.
This year, 55 completed applications were received. Out of the applications received, 37 successful applicants received bursaries for studies to a total value of R250 000.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact MyPlayers Player Career Development Manager Jonéll van der Westhuizen via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Position: Loose forward
Tertiary Institution: Fort Hare University
What are you studying and why?
I’m doing my B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) at Fort Hare University. I have a background in marketing studies, so I want to get a degree that supports my experience. I major in English and Psychology, so I’m excited to learn as much as possible.
How is it going so far?
It’s going very well. I admit, I found it tough in the beginning when it came to balancing my rugby and study commitments, but once you set a positive routine, things fall into place. You have to be willing to make the necessary sacrifices. I’m excited to do well in my studies and rugby this year.
Why is the MyPlayers Bursary Programme important?
Professional players get paid for playing rugby and some of us get sponsors, which is a big privilege. But it’s a privilege that won’t last for long. The MyPlayers Bursary Programme will encourage more players to make the effort to get a qualification behind their name.
Why should players study?
You never know when your rugby career will end. So it’s important to prepare for life after rugby as soon as possible. Your academic background is a stepping stone to a second career.
Position: Tighthead prop, hooker
Tertiary Institution: UNISA
What are you studying and why?
I’m doing my B.Ed. (Bachelor of Education) through UNISA. After rugby, I want to go into coaching as I want to work with the youth. I have a big passion for helping kids become the best versions of themselves. I coaching rugby at Kempton Park High School and I’m really enjoying it.
How’s it going so far?
Very well. I dedicate my days to training, then I come home to work on my studies at night. It’s very important to balance both commitments. It’s tough, but possible.
What do you make of the MyPlayers Bursary Programme?
It’s very important as it gives guys like me the opportunity to afford a tertiary education. Some players don’t have the big contracts yet, so they can’t always afford to study after school. The MyPlayers Bursary Programme has given me the chance to study early in my career.
What are other players saying about these sort of benefits from the Players Organisation?
We really learned a lot during the recent MyPlayers Roadshow visit. MyPlayers is working very hard to share the latest news and information with us and there are many guys excited to make the most of these opportunities.
Why is it important for players to study?
Rugby players aren’t guaranteed long careers. You never know what could happen tomorrow, so getting your qualification helps you prepare for a Plan B.