South African Rugby Legends Association

The South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) is a non-profit organisation operating in South Africa. It is composed of former Springboks and Provincial rugby union players and provides a platform from which retired professional rugby players can work with the development of rugby in previously disadvantaged areas. The objective of the association is to raise money in aid of charitable causes and to provide sports coaching and life skills training to youngsters from previously disadvantaged areas in the country. SARLA also runs the South African Rugby Union (SARU) endorsed sustainable development rugby programme named Vuka.[1][2][3][4]


The South African Rugby Legends was started by former Wallaby openside flanker Christopher Roche, who incorporated the organisation for altruistic purposes and transferred it to likeminded South African counterparts for $1.00. South African entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer of Richmark Holdings Gavin Varejes and former Springbok rugby player John Allan then continued the development of the concept. SARLA comprises former Springboks and Provincial rugby players. Initially started with charitable games as objective, the association has evolved to provide programmes like ‘Legends Iqhawe’, ‘Legacy Parks’ and ‘Vuka’.[1][2][5]

Current Legends in SARLAEdit

The following former rugby players currently form part of SARLA:[6]

Legends Iqhawe and Legacy ParksEdit

The Legends Iqhawe (hero or champion in the Zulu language) program was created to provide coaching in sport and also life skills training to youngsters. The coaching and training takes place in Legacy Parks situated in previously disadvantaged areas in South Africa and is facilitated by a role model in the form of a sports personality. The program is sponsored by companies like van Dyck and Paracon.[1][3][4][7][8]

Vuka Rugby Development ProgramEdit

SARLA started a grassroots rugby development programme called Vuka (awakening or wake up in the Zulu language) in 2008. Over 2000 disadvantaged youngsters in more than 80 schools in the Western Cape have been given an opportunity to develop rugby and life skills by partaking in the programme.[9][10]

Press CoverageEdit

SARLA regularly features in the South African online and printed press. Selected press coverage includes:

  • Coverage of SARLA Sports Challenge in News Online – Going Places[11]
  • Coverage of SARLA's support for Joost van der Westhuizen - IOL News[12]
  • Coverage of SARLA's support for Joost van der Westhuizen – ZAPlurk[13]
  • Coverage of SARLA's support for Joost van der Westhuizen – Sarie Magazine[14]

Contribution to CharityEdit

SARLA and Gavin Varejes donate time and funds to a variety of charities. The legends Joost van der Westhuizen, David Von Hoesslin, Mac Masina and Riaan Erwee visited one of FEED South Africa's beneficiaries in the Alexandra Township; the Phutuditjaba Community centre where they visited and handed out blankets to elderly and bed-ridden citizens.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "The African Business Journal". Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b Mail & Guardian; Sports Leader, "Introduction to the South African Rugby Legends Association" Archived 7 June 2008 at
  3. ^ a b Paracon, "The SA Rugby Legends IQHAWE Programme" Archived 22 April 2013 at
  4. ^ a b van Dyck, "sarla partnership contributes to social upliftment" Archived 5 February 2013 at
  5. ^ "An hour with Gavin Varejes | Thought Leader". Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Home - South African Rugby Legends Association". South African Rugby Legends Association. Archived from the original on 21 November 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Unofficial Leeds United - Leeds United". Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  8. ^ "England Legends v South Africa 26th November 2010". Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  9. ^ Legends Cup Programme
  10. ^ "Vuka Rugby - South African Rugby Legends Association". South African Rugby Legends Association. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  11. ^ " - This website is for sale! - newsonline Resources and Information". Retrieved 7 September 2017. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  12. ^ "Joost gets help from legends | IOL News". Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  13. ^ ZAPlurk Archived 10 February 2013 at
  14. ^, "Ondersteun só vir Joost", August 2011
  15. ^ "FEED SA and SARLA | FEED SA is a non-profit partnership to cut hunger and poverty in Africa that runs a hunger project". Retrieved 7 September 2017.

External linksEdit