Connect is a high performance academy based in Cape Town, South Africa.
Our athletes are supported holistically to meet our target of producing professional sportsmen and women by providing access to quality resources and opportunities.
2016 saw our first two players capped by Western Province, Akha Mjawule and Ilitha Ntinini. We also had 12 athletes selected to represent the successful Western Cape Islanders Touch Rugby squad at the annual, junior inter-provincial tournament in October 2016.
Both Akha and Ilitha represent Western Province again in 2017 after successfully making it through the trial process.
It’s not just about the boys, either. Connect athlete Sesethu Mtshazi has been selected to represent the full Western Province women’s side for the 2017 rugby season.
Athlete development is planned and administered by our Director of Rugby, Murray Ingram, and Connect’s backroom team.
Away from the field, our elite players are given nutritional and academic support with a view to creating healthy, well-rounded young athletes ready to enter the adult world.
Through our partnerships with fellow academies and clubs, athletes that progress through our system have a direct pathway to elite level, competitive and provincial fixtures from the Under 8 age group all the way up to U19 and beyond into senior rugby.
Our Primary School children (U13 and below) train and play much of their rugby as part of the Vusa Academy, based at Bishops Prep School in Cape Town. For 2017 they will also play for Busy Bee Rugby Club in Langa, Cape Town.
Our senior athletes will also represent the Western Province Khayelitsha Hub sides throughout 2017. Having secured rugby bursaries, three more of our seniors are boarding at, and playing for, the Western Cape Sport School.
Our Connect team have direct, hands-on involvement with the players’ development, with the aim to ensure a professional, cohesive and productive environment for all in our system with benefits reaching far beyond the rugby field.
In Khayelitsha, our primary school training sessions give new recruits the opportunity to earn their place in the academy’s elite system. Our coaches work closely with primary and high schools in the community to source new talent and build a solid, long-term legacy on the rugby field and in the classroom.