Given the number of sporting initiatives we support and sponsor, those unfamiliar with our products and history could be forgiven for thinking that Standard Bank is actually a continent-wide athletic-goods operation.
From Saturday, 2 July, we partnered with the farmer-owned GWK to host the fifth GWK Streekspanne Rugbytoernooi at Hoërskool Duineveld in Upington, which will continue until Wednesday, 5 July.
This partnership is an obvious one, when one considers that, just like us, the public company is committed to youth development and growing the communities in which it operates.
GWK operates from its head office in Douglas in the Northern Cape, with satellite offices in the Western and Eastern Cape, Northwest, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. The company specialises in grain products, specialist crops and meat, and auction services among other activities, and supports South Africa’s farmers with the inputs they need, supporting them with the best solutions and ensuring the best channels to market for their products. GWK also links consumers with farmers through sustainably manufactured products from the farm.
Regions participating in this year’s Rugbytoernooi include Kimberley, Suid-Vrystaat, Van Druten, Logan, Pixley, Namakwa, Noordelikes and Oranje. Since it’s hosted on a rotational basis, the tournament allows small, rural towns to enjoy a substantial economic boost when their turn comes. Major work is done by the Griekwaland-Wes Hoërskole Rugbyvereniging, the organisational body responsible for the arrangements that ensure the yearly event runs smoothly.
As in years before, this week’s programme offers a number of activities that will ensure the boys and spectators remain interested from the very beginning. This year, Die Heuwels Fantasties will be performing a song dedicated to our farmers on Tuesday evening: Bietjie Hoop was written as a message to the farming community to let them know that broader society appreciates the work they do and sees them as heroes.
“Five years ago, we as GWK had a dream to create an opportunity for the development of youth in rural areas,” says Neil de Klerk, Executive Head of Marketing and Communications. “With the support of our partners, the GWK Streekspanne Rubytoernooi became a reality. Here, we create a platform for u.15 and u.17 boys to develop their talent further and to ‘put up their hand’ for the Craven Week.”
Mr de Klerk further shares that GWK, with its partners, is looking to expand the tournament annually and to continue investing in the youth and the communities in which the company does business.