Strauss re-elected unopposed as Bulls president
NEWS: Willem Strauss, more affectionately and casually referred to as ‘Mnr Pres’ by those within the walls at Loftus Versfeld, was once again entrusted with president reigns of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union for another four-year term.
Strauss has been at the forefront of some of the big changes across rugby in Pretoria and the far Northern regions.
He was instrumental in some major appointments that played a vital role in the turnaround at Loftus, such as that of Director of Rugby Jake White, CEO Edgar Rathbone and Thando Manana, the new head of woman’s rugby and special projects.
In his time as president so far the Bulls have won a Super Rugby Unlocked title, two Currie Cup titles and are currently ranked in poll position when it comes to SA Under-21, SA U20, SA U19, Varsity Cup, Young Guns, the club competition and U20 club competition. The union has also excelled at growing women’s rugby contributing its largest contingent of female players to the national side ever.
White expressed his excitement at the re-appointment.
“Willem has done a great job in aligning the professional arm of our game to that of the amateurs,” said White.
“It’s obviously not an easy task given the differences, but he re-affirmed the common love for the game and the pillars that we want our rugby to be built on. More than that, he has also become a personal friend, and I’m super excited to continue this journey alongside him.”
Strauss was also instrumental in the groundbreaking shareholder deal that saw Patrice Motsepe buy into the company, joining Johan Rupert and the BBRU as partners.
Motsepe congratulated Strauss on the appointment.
“We are particularly happy about the re-election of Willem as President of the BBRU for another term.
“Not only is this well-deserved, but it also gives the partners at the BBCo the opportunity to keep building on the excellent platform that was created the past few years to promote rugby on all levels. We support the BBRU’s initiatives one hundred percent under the leadership of Willem and we look forward to the upcoming term filled with success both on and off the field.”
One of Strauss’s goals for the upcoming four years is to continue to grow the game on every level, with special attention to professionalizing women’s rugby, the junior structures, and the clubs.
He is also spearheading the revamping of the Northern stand at Loftus Versfeld.
“It’s an absolute honour to be re-elected, and to be unopposed in the process shows me that there are no divides in our camp,” said Strauss.
“It shows me that the people around me back me and believe in our common goals. We are in a good space, but it’s never enough and we need to keep moving forward to get bigger and better, and that’s the only way we can continue to remain one of the leaders in the industry.
“This appointment is not about me, it’s never been. It is about every single blue-blooded person behind the scenes working tirelessly to improve us every day. It’s about the groundsmen and the kitchen staff, the admin office and the medical teams, the partners, sponsors, clubs and especially the fans that stick by us through thick and thin.
“Thank you for believing in us and trusting us to grow the brand that you love.”