Vlok's Bursary for Kicker
Vlok Cilliers has just turned 51, having spent most of his life kicking rugby balls to great effect. Playing days over, the 1996 Springbok coached kickers in Blue Bulls, men who included Morné Steyn who profited greatly from the coaching.
From there Cilliers, a son of the Karroo who made his name in the Western Province, moved back to the Cape and, after helping kickers in the Stormers and Western Province teams, he started a successful coaching school of his own.
Now he wants to find the best schoolboy kicker in the Western Cape and reward him with a bursary at a local tertiary institution in the hope that he will develop and prosper.
Cilliers says: “My dream for this competition is that it will give a young rugby player a boost and fast track his career. Hopefully, the winner will even play for the Springboks one day.
“Kicks can decide matches. They can break your heart or send you into a state of euphoria. They play a pivotal role in matches and we need to develop this skill in South Africa.”
Vlok hopes to start in the Western Cape and then move to other provinces.
Former pupil, Springbok Morné Steyn congratulated Vlok on coming up with this concept: “Hopefully this competition will help some of the players to play for a provincial and even a national team one day. May the best kicker win!”
Another Springbok flyhalf, Handré Pollard believes the competition could definitely put players on the map: “I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome day and a great experience.”
Sponsors have been found and the competition will be held at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on 14 September 2019. On the day, kickers will be required to showcase their skill with kicks at goal, as well as tactical and line kicks.
Schools are invited to enter their best kicker. They need to provide the learner’s kicking statistics, academic record, a video of his kicking action and a motivation by the learner of why he would like to enter the competition. This can be sent to Vlok at firstname.lastname@example.org. A group of 50 players will be invited to compete.
In conclusion, Cilliers says: “We strongly suggest that learners apply to the academic institution of their choice in advance, as many universities’ applications close before the competition. We also encourage them to keep their marks up and work hard at their academics. Only a few rugby players are fortunate enough to make a living out of rugby. Being able to earn a degree while also playing rugby is a huge opportunity and privilege.”