Connect U18 Pair Selected By Western Province Rugby

Haashim Pead & Riyaad Bam Called Up

Two Connect Academy athletes have become the latest to be selected for U18 National Schools Week rugby by Western Province.

Haashim Pead and Riyaad Bam (pictured, left) have been called up for the Craven Week A squad and Academy Week squad respectively.

And they represent the old and the new of our academy programme.

Full-back Riyaad is the first provincial selection from our partnership with Bosmansdam High School, while Haashim, a scrum-half at Bishops Diocesan College, was part of our historic efforts to facilitate scholarships for young people at ‘traditional rugby schools’ in Cape Town.

Both are fine examples of making the most of the consistent access to opportunities and resources that we’ve always tried to provide through our programme.

Following In Connect Academy Footsteps

Riyaad and Haashim (pictured together, right) both featured in the Connect Academy sides that took part in the Marius Schoeman 7s and Frogfoot 7s rugby events in September 2022.

That was Riyaad’s introduction to our programme, while Haashim began his Connect journey all the way back as an Under 12 while still at primary school.

They now follow in the footsteps of several Connect athletes in reaching provincial schoolboy level.

Ridhau Bey, Aya Machuli and Yolisa Kasi were all selected by Western Province for their Academy Week rugby sides in 2022.

Lukhanyo Vokozela and Lamla Nunu, meanwhile, both played key roles in the front row for the Junior Springboks in last year’s international U20 competition in Italy, alongside their status as contracted professionals with Western Province.

Our First With Bosmansdam High School

We’re celebrating this landmark alongside our partners at Bosmansdam High School.

This relationship gives our team of young coaches the opportunity to further their fledgling careers by working to deliver key aspects of the school’s extra-curricular programme.

Since first working together during 2022, Bosmansdam’s rugby alone has grown from two boys teams up to eight, plus the introduction of a girls squad for the first time in the school’s history.

The school is also supporting Connect in a key area – working together to enroll our academy youngsters as learners to enhance their development towards the adult world in a way that would otherwise prove impossible.

To do this, rather than our historic approach of sourcing scholarships at several schools, allows us to play a day-to-day role in the growth of these young people, many of them from severely disadvantaged backgrounds, creating a challenging, supportive environment attuned to their needs.

Thanks to Bosmansdam High School, its senior management team and governing body, we are able to provide Riyaad and so many others with the platform to unlock their full potential, on and off the field.

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Donations have played a huge part in helping Connect Academy reach this stage of its development, taking our participants from their disadvantaged childhood circumstances, all the way through to their first steps in the professional, adult world and beyond.

Your support gives us the ability to work with flexibility in what is an ever changing environment, enabling us to meet the individual needs of each of the young people in our care.

Connect is a registered non-profit company (registration number:
2012 / 057683 / 08) with PBO status. We are able to issue Section
18(A) certificates on all applicable South African donations.

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Account Name: Connect Community Development
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Account Number: 62356179939
Branch Code: 250059