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New sponsor for Wildeklawer

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Absa historically has provided funding to the tournament in support of the development and promotion of excellence in schools sport

ABSA will be sponsoring the 2020 Wildeklawer Sports Tournament which will take place from April 24 to 27 next year at Diamantveld High School in Kimberley.

The tournament is already recognised as a major contributor to the Northern Cape community and an important annual calendar event.

The announcement comes with rugby fever still running high after South Africa’s Rugby World Cup victory.

Several of the players who were included in the 2019 Springbok squad previously participated in the Wildeklawer tournament, which is a testament to the fertile ground that the tournament provides for the development of future sports stars.

The players include RG Snyman, Steven Kitshoff, Handré Pollard, Warrick Gelant, Frans Malherbe, Thomas du Toit, Damian Willemse, Herschel Jantjies, Kwagga Smit and Faf de Klerk.

The Wildeklawer Tournament, which focuses on rugby and netball, is considered one of the flagship sports tournaments in South Africa with more than 3 000 participants. It has grown in stature since it was first introduced in 2009.

The event offers ample opportunity for top rugby and netball schools from across the country to compete against each other.

Absa historically has provided funding to the tournament in support of the development and promotion of excellence in schools sport.

Tina Playne, Managing Executive for Sectors and Segments at Absa Retail and Business Bank, said “Absa will be actively involved in growing the tournament in the years to come, in line with our strategy of getting closer to our customers and the communities we serve”

“In 2020 the netball part of the tournament will be expanded to include a wider age group.”

The first Wildeklawer tournament was hosted at Paarl Gymnasium in 2009 with 12 rugby schools and two invitational teams. In 2010 the tournament moved to Pretoria with 14 rugby and 10 netball teams participated.

Kimberley has been the annual host since 2011, with the exception of 2013 when it was moved to Pietermaritzburg to coincide with Maritzburg College’s 150th celebration.

Next year, Kimberley will host the 12th edition, with 138 teams from 79 schools participating – the biggest rugby and netball tournament in South Africa.

The tournament will consist of Under-19 rugby and netball (senior tournament) as well as Under-16 netball for the first time in 2020, Under-14, Under-15 and Under-16 (junior tournament), Under-13 rugby and netball tournament and Under-19 Northern Cape rugby and netball development tournament.

“Absa is proud to be associated with the tournament. We believe that supporting schools sports initiatives such as this is key to the development of our future stars,” said Playne.