The Academy is a private company, established as a strategic partnership between Free State Cheetahs and the University of the Free State that will facilitate a pipeline of rugby talent for the benefit of the Free State province. It is owned jointly by the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd and the University of the Free State. The shareholders have made provision for possible future shareholding by CUT.
The Academy was acknowledged as an appropriate approach to a structured program that envisages "early identification" of rugby talent, the development of that talent through a high-performance program which enhances the conversion rate of players into professional rugby. In addition, this elite programme is under-pinned by a well-balanced academic programme which strives to ensure that all players are equipped with suitable educational and life skills. The strategic partners have also recognised the development imperative of black rugby players within the Free State province and identified the Academy as the ideal platform to accelerate this contribution towards Free State and South African rugby.
Free State Rugby has proven itself to be the factory of rugby talent over many years and decades; therefore the core focus of the Academy is "to provide the best standard of infrastructure within the Academy in order to produce the best possible players for Free State Rugby and UFS". This vision will be achieved through the following fundamental principles:
• Timely identification and recruitment of talent
• Develop that talent through high performance standards which accelerate the conversion rate through the pipeline into professional rugby
• Adequate balance between rugby and life/academic skills.
The structure of the Academy makes provision for CUT or an approved FET institution to be an affiliated partner of the Academy. As such, any player who is elects to study at one of these institutions will raise the requirement for the respective institution to contribute towards the residency component of the bursary for that player. This business plan assumes that all players remain within the sphere of UFS or accredited course and the residency component will be proportionally adjusted if a player elects to study at an affiliate.
Contact Andre Tredoux at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.