“To whom it may concern

I grew up in Nyanga township which was the toughest time in my upbringing. Especially as a 13-year-old boy. The environment is consumed by drugs and alcohol and these circumstances make it challenging for one to become a success.

In 2005 and 2006, the VUSA Academy ensured that several us were not led astray by the influence of peer pressure. The Academy sent transport to pick us up from the Nyanga Community Rugby Field as we all came from our respective schools within the community. We would travel to Bishops Diocesan College in numbers and on arrival we would be met by the likes of Brandon Foggerty and the late Basil Bay. We would be given a snack as an icebreaker and something to keep us going for a few hours. We would proceed with training and that helped us learn a few extra skills and take our minds off what was happening back at home. After training, we would receive sandwiches which for some was supper as there was often nothing to eat at home.

The academy gave me the platform to get scouted given that we would play rugby games against former Model C schools. At times, we would be given the opportunity to attend extra lessons for English and Mathematics in order for us to improve in our academics. These opportunities opened doors for me as a result I was able to attend a former Model C school.

I truly believe that the VUSA Academy is well equipped in ensuring that young boys in the township not only become better men in society but also better human beings. The resources that the academy dedicated to me have provided me with invaluable lessons.

As a Stormers and Springbok player, I can proudly say that I am product of the VUSA Academy.


Sikhumbuzo Notshe”