With the amounts of money that is now being ploughing in their rugby programmes, it has become essential for high schools to take added steps to protect their investments.
Recently a journalist told me that a top rugby school in the Western Cape was either considering or had already “contracted” it’s top players to prevent them from being poached by schools or rugby unions from other provinces.
A school rugby bursary is already an official document that stipulates various criteria and which the player’s parent or guardian is required to sign.
Stipulations would include the amount or percentage of the bursary, the period for which it applies, a performance clause, participation requirements and perhaps even conduct clauses.
However of growing importance particularly for smaller schools and especially those in the Eastern and Western Cape which are at great risk to poaching, is to include an undertaking as part of the bursary not to negotiate with another school.
Some school rugby bursaries are still on official school stationary but main are now done through Old Boys in their personal capacities or through their businesses or by Supporters Trusts or Public Benefit Organisations (although all schools are of course also PBO’s).