The French Barbarians rugby team met youth in Soweto
June is rugby month in South Africa. While the Springboks and the XV de France will meet for three test matches (Pretoria 10 June, Durban 17 June and Johannesburg 24 June), the French “A” Rugby Team (also known as the Barbarians) will also play two matches against its South African counterpart.
The tour to South Africa represents a unique opportunity for France and South Africa to strengthen and deepen sports co-operation and for the French network to reach out to the South African public. The Barbarians, led by Frédéric Michalak, are committed to offer mentoring, coaching and motivational support to promote peace, transformation and development.
The South Africa “A” team and the Barbarians, in particular, extended their support to young South Africans with a passion for rugby. The team visited Jabulani Technical School in Soweto on Wednesday 21 June 2017 for a coaching session and signing of t-shirts and rugby balls. On this occasion, they met and share their sporting experience, knowledge, skills and ideas with 300 young people from Soweto.
The event in Soweto was organised in partnership with the South African Rugby Union (through the Golden Lions), the Gauteng Provincial Government and Move-It, Moving Matters™ who are members of the Sport for Social Change Network and the Embassy of France in South Africa.
All partners support the physical education programme, which is currently being implemented in 30 schools across Soweto by Move-It, Moving Matters™, funded by Total South Africa. Total South Africa funds the Move-It, Moving Matters™ programme in Soweto and attended this event as demonstration of their long-term commitment to empowering youngsters and giving them access to improved opportunities in life through their investment in education.
The bakery Paul South Africa also sponsored the event. Soweto-born chef and Ambassador of French Gastronomy to South Africa, Wandile Mabaso, created a hors d’oeuvre menu for the VIPs.
The partnership between France and South Africa for this event is proof of the strong bi-lateral relations between our two countries, and how this has paved the way for stronger and ongoing public-private-partnership collaborations with agencies, organisations and entities who understand the positive and powerful influence of sport for development in communities. French Ambassador to South Africa, H.E. Mr Christophe Farnaud attended the event, along with Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Golden Lions.