2024 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival launched

2024 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival launched

Supporters of fast-paced schoolboy rugby are set for an exciting feast over Easter weekend, with this week’s launch of the 2024 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival (KERF) which will showcase 14 highly-rated high school teams, as well as an inaugural primary schools’ festival, at which 10 local sides will compete.

Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival 2024

Not only does schoolboy rugby play an invaluable role in the development of South Africa’s rugby culture, but it also instils the values of sportsmanship, team work, resilience and respect in young players.

This 15th KERF promises exhilarating competition between some of the country’s top-ranked schools, over the three play days of Thursday 28 March, Saturday 30 and Monday 01 April.

In endorsing their continued long-term headline sponsorship of the festival, Kuben Chetty, Standard Bank’s head of commercial banking for KwaZulu-Natal, said the company firmly believes in the power of sport to change lives.

“We believe that this tournament presents young people with opportunities to learn from challenges and to grow through teamwork,” Chetty said. 

Standard Bank has been the festival’s major sponsor since 2012.

Durban High School (DHS), Glenwood High School, Westville Boys’ High and hosts Kearsney College will again represent KwaZulu-Natal at this year’s event.

The organisers are excited to welcome newcomers Hoërskool Rustenburg from North-West, Rondebosch Boys’ High from Cape Town and Pearson High School from Port Elizabeth.

Two powerhouse teams from Gauteng - Hoërskool Monument from Krugersdorp and Boksburg’s Hoërskool Dr EG Jansen - will return to showcase their brand of fast and physical rugby.

After an excellent festival debut last year, Worcester Gimnasium from the Western Cape, together with the Eastern Cape’s Nico Malan High School (Humansdorp), Hoërskool Framesby (Gqeberha) and Hoër Landbouskool Marlow (Cradock) are certain to offer spectators thrilling running rugby. They will be joined by the tenacious team from Hoërskool Noord-Kaap (Kimberley).

Fast-paced schoolboy rugby provides spectators with a display of uninhibited passion which is sometimes lost at higher levels of the game, with many of the young players forming lifelong friendships and rivalries over the weekend.

Traditionally four under 13 teams have kicked off play each day at KERF. The growth and continued success of the festival has led to the establishment of a primary schools’ festival for the first time this year, which will run concurrently on an adjacent field.

Participating U13 teams are Ashton International College Ballito, Chelsea Prep, Glenwood Prep, Highbury Prep, Hillcrest Senior Primary, Kloof Senior Primary, Umhlali Prep, Westville Senior Primary, Winston Park Primary and the KZNRU Ibutho Development Team.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s festival, Kearsney headmaster Patrick Lees acknowledged the support of the festival’s sponsors - in particular Standard Bank, Halfway Ford and The Sharks - which has enabled the significant growth of this prestigious festival since its inception in 2008.

Lees likened rugby to the orchestra. “Let's appreciate the orchestration of teamwork, strategy and determination. Remember, each player is a unique instrument, and together you create a masterpiece on the field.”

Chilton Penery, dealer principal at Halfway Ford Waterfall, said it was a sense of community which made his company’s alignment with the festival so vital. “We strive to uplift and participate within our community, a by-product being the relationships we build while providing tailored transport solutions for each valued client,” he said.

Michael Horak, The Sharks’ high performance manager, said he was looking forward to seeing what the young players, from the best schoolboy teams around the country, brought to KERF this year.

“The Sharks and The Sharks Academy are proud of our ongoing association with the iconic Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival since its inception,” he said.

Together with The Sharks, KERF’s successful Boots & Balls outreach initiative will again collect

new and used sports gear, with the focus on rugby gear. All donated kit is sorted, refurbished and distributed to selected schools and clubs.  Participating teams and the public are requested to leave kit in designated collection bins at the main field.

The family-friendly festival on Kearsney’s beautiful campus in Botha’s Hill will have numerous food outlets, a refreshment tent, a fun KidZone for little ones and ample available on-site parking.

Fixtures and festival information are available on www.kearsney.com and, for those unable to attend the festival, it will be live-streamed on the SuperSport Schools app.



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