18 September 2019: In a climate of poverty, parents from underprivileged communities often find themselves unable to enroll their children in quality schools due to lack of funding. This can lead to children becoming involved in criminal activities, violence, drug and/or alcohol abuse. The SACS Percy Montgomery Rugby Foundation is looking to be the solution; by creating opportunities for underprivileged, talented rugby players.
“Poverty holds a particular risk for our youth. It can lead them unwittingly into making bad choices in order to survive, often to the detriment of their future. As an active member of the rugby community, we are invested in seeing young people succeed through sports, says SA rugby legend & SACS Old Boy, Percy Montgomery.
Adds Montgomery, “We have seen amazing success stories from young boys who decided that they would no longer be another social case or statistic. One such story is of Zolani Masembathe, who joined the Foundation in 2012.”
After his grandmother and father’s passing, he found himself on the streets of Cape Town at 11 years old. Although he lived amongst drug addicts and criminals, he was more concerned with playing rugby and getting an education. He decided to not fall victim to his circumstances, and put all his efforts into becoming a committed rugby player and model student.
SACS heard of Masembathe through the rugby circles and reached out to assist, with the help of CEO of Publicis Machine, Adrian Hewlitt and the SACS Percy Montgomery Rugby Foundation.
“I have gained a family structure that cares about me, and does its utmost best to makes sure I have everything I need to best the best rugby player and model student,” says Masembathe.
The foundation with the full support of the SACS Rugby Scholarship Programme not only helps raise funds to develop rugby talents, they also aim to build a well-rounded individual who can contribute meaningfully to society.
“Rather than navigating through life alone, these children become a part of a brotherhood, and through engaging in sport show improved school attendance and the confidence to tackle all lives challenges ,” concludes Montgomery.
To support The SACS Percy Montgomery Fund and young boys like Zolani, visit http://sacsrugby.com/sacs-percy-montgomery-foundation/.