Continuing with its support of agricultural education in South Africa, Mutual & Federal Agri will once again be sponsoring the Oakdale Agricultural High/Boland Landbou Interschool Rugby Day, a highlight in the schools’ sports calendar attended by over 700 agricultural learners and around 1500 spectators.

According to the principals of Oakdale Agricultural High and Boland Landbou, Mutual & Federal, a member of the Old Mutual Group, has committed to several initiatives at both schools, from revamping of facilities to its longstanding sponsorship of this sports event. Boland principal Chris Fourie praises Mutual & Federal Agri for their sponsorship, saying, “Our school wouldn’t be able to develop our pupils if it wasn’t for the support of Mutual & Federal Agri. We depend on them, seeing them as a vital partner in education,” says Fourie. Oakdale headmaster, Andre Latsky, agrees, sharing the sentiment that the company goes beyond being just an insurance provider. “Mutual & Federal Agri get involved like family would, going so far as joining in the festivities of our rugby day. We are privileged to have the company as a sponsor.”

Both agricultural boarding schools are located on farms in the Western Cape and offer full agricultural education in addition to a complete academic syllabus. Students are trained and educated in all aspects of agriculture such as sheep and cattle farming, planting and ploughing. “It is important for Mutual & Federal Agri to support future generations of farmers, just as we will be supporting them in the next few decades in protecting and preserving their livelihoods, explains Andries Wiese, Group Manager of Mutual & Federal Agri. One of the ways in which we offer this support is through the sponsorship of the Interschools Rugby Day.”

Once a year the two agricultural schools prepare for rugby battle as they embrace the competitive spirit of this much-loved South African sport. This year’s Interschools Rugby Day takes place at Oakdale Agricultural High, which is near George, on 20 August 2011. Seventeen teams from the Under 14s to the First Teams will be participating. The winner of the First Team game determines which school emerges victorious at the end of the day.

“Learners from both Boland and Oakdale put considerable practise, passion and commitment into preparing for this event,” notes Wiese. “The team spirit is phenomenal. In the week leading up to the big day there are parades, motivational speeches from former Springbok players and referees, as well as braais with parents, Mutual & Federal Agri staff, teachers and students. Although the competition gets serious on the field, learners from both schools are friends who share a passion for rugby and agriculture,” adds Wiese.

Last year, Oakdale’s First Team narrowly beat Boland’s by just one penalty kick and a final score of 3-0. It remains to be seen whether a homeground advantage will bring victory to Oakdale again or whether Boland’s First Team will reclaim their winner’s title.

“No matter who wins at the end of the day, the staff at Mutual & Federal Agri look forward to this game every year, as it is the kind of event that brings the Western Cape farming community together,” concludes Wiese.

Mutual & Federal is one of the leading short-term insurers in southern Africa.

Article provided by: FAnews