RPC U17 week gets underway at Tuks

Cricket South Africa (CSA) understand that a difference in the South Africa’s cricket landscape cannot be made at national team level, if the inequalities of the foundation feeder system are not addressed.

It is for this very reason that these two institutions have partnered to launch a powerful initiative that aims to transform this national sport by developing and nurturing the budding cricket potential in SA. The partnership sees Standard Bank sponsoring 12 Regional Performance Centres (RPC) programmes across the country with the ultimate objective of growing the pipeline of future stars.

This RPC programme which focuses on the age groups between 13 and 18-years will – this week from Monday, 02 to Friday, 06 April 2018 – afford about 144 young, talented cricketers from around the country an opportunity to participate in the Standard Bank RPC National U17 Week for 2018. This under-17 tournament will take place in Pretoria in areas that include Hammanskraal, Mamelodi and Tuks.

Jenny Lyn Pheiffer: Executive Head. Group Brand & Sponsorship at Standard Bank Group says: “As Standard Bank, we entered into this partnership with CSA as the sponsor of the RPC Programme, so that we could play a vital role in developing the immense cricketing talent in SA by providing the necessary support at grassroots level.

This partnership ensures that there’s continuous development and maintenance of effective high-performance programmes and cricket structures from grassroots right through to senior cricket. This RPC week will also provide 64 coaches and administrators from around the country an opportunity to get best practice in their various fields.

Cricket SA plays a critical role in ensuring that the top talent from various age groups is identified. In addition, CSA ensures that young players on this programme are given high-level skills and coaching they need to succeed, while at the same time ensuring our national team will have a rich pool of talent from which to choose in the future.

The budding, young cricketer from previously disadvantaged areas – in need of facilities and coaching – will now be able to fulfil their true potential and turn their dreams into reality. The programme has – in the last few years – already yielded some positive results and the stats speak for themselves:

About 63 talented players were afforded opportunities to study at some of the top schools, this was made possible through different bursary platforms during the 2017/18 season of the RPC programme. This process has allowed for junior provincial sides to be selected and receive bursaries to develop further.
There are currently 12 RPCs across the country:

  • 1152 players – (average of 96 players per RPC)
  •  96 Feeder schools
  •  36 full time coaches

In 2015, the RPCs managed to produce 98 players to the various provincial teams going to the national boys’ and girls’ youth tournaments in December 2017, which saw a slight increase to 112.

There has been an explosion of talent coming through this year and the number of players selected for the youth tournaments has rocketed to 217. This is a huge increase by any standards and will strengthen our resolve to give more children from our non-traditional feeder systems the chance to excel.

Pheiffer adds: “We are proud to be part of a programme that contributes positively to the lives of South Africa children. Our dream is to help all young cricketers in the country who want to play this wonderful game and ultimately emulate the Proteas, a team which represents the fighting spirit of our rainbow nation. This RPC week though, is not only about playing cricket and competing, but it is also about having fun and to show the nation that – our buds are definitely going after the blooms.”