On Wednesday 23rd July 52 pupils and six staff from The King's School, Macclesfield, will embark on a two and a half week rugby tour of South Africa playing ten games across the country, starting in Pretoria and Johannesburg, flying to Port Elizabeth and along the Garden Route, before finishing in the beautiful city of Cape Town. One of these games will be in a deprived township and as part of the experience the boys will also be coaching rugby to Primary age children and helping the ‘United Through Sport’ Charity.
Whilst in South Africa they will also train and stay at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, visit the world famous Apartheid Centre, spend two days in the Kariega Game Reserve before paying a visit to both Robben Island and Table Mountain.
The tour, which has been 18 months in the planning, will allow the boys to test themselves against some of the most prestigious South African rugby playing schools and in front of hundreds of spectators. Whilst touring is nothing new to these boys the aggression and physicality the South Africans play with, will be a whole new experience for many and should only serve to give the boys a superb rugby playing experience!
From small acorns grow great oak trees and it was only two years ago when King’s toured Canada, playing 10, winning nine, scoring 397 points and conceding just 68. This provided the perfect spring-board for one of the schools best ever 1st XV seasons! In fact when King’s touched down from Vancouver in August of 2012 they hosted their annual 1st XV Pre-season Festival and then didn’t lose a match until late February in 2013! In fact the season was such a success they were voted the Rugby World Team of the Month for October and finished second in the Daily Mail school rankings – the highest place for a non-scholarship day school since the rankings began seven years previous.
Can the class of 2014 emulate the same achievements? Well they’ve got the talent and the ability and they’ve all had to work exceptionally hard to be on tour – for some they have had to fund-raise and get part time jobs to raise in excess of £2000, no small feat in today’s financial environment and the help and support that many of the local Cheshire business sponsors have provided has been fantastic!
The tour has been organised with the assistance of the travel company Edwin Doran, who have extensive experience in delivering sporting excursions worldwide and additionally they have sent us some kind words of support to include in our accompanying tour brochure.
Peter Allen, The King's School, Macclesfield