2023 Duo Follow In Connect Academy Footsteps
A long-term approach to personal and athletic development
Riyaad Bam and Haashim Pead are the latest two young athletes to represent Connect Academy with Western Province Rugby, at the 2023 Craven Week and Academy Week competitions.
Haashim began his Connect journey all the way back as an Under 12 while still at primary school, while Riyaad joined our programme in September last year.
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.
Rugby The Gateway To Professional Adult World
Our participants are people first, athletes second
It’s a privilege to be continuing to support so many young players, as they make their way as athletes and in the wider sports industry.
Lukhanyo and Lamla became our first contracted professionals when they were signed by Western Province, following their progress through the provincial and national youth ranks.
That they began with us in our early days on a patch of land in the township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, back in 2015, is fueling the ambition of those that follow in their footsteps.
Ridhau, meanwhile, became our first Connect graduate to become a professional rugby player overseas, when he signed for French Top 14 club Montpellier Herault in 2023.
Akha Mjawule, who was one of our first provincial representatives as an U12 flanker, will feature for the Bulls as a junior professional in 2023 alongside yet another academy mate from our first steps, Endi Apolisi.
We remain just as keen to support those not going into the professional game as athletes, assisting with several varsity, college and employment opportunities every year.
That includes our growing crop of young coaches, who play a key role in our work with the next Connect generation, as well as through our partnership with Bosmansdam High School in Cape Town.
Skill Development For Rugby Camp
Work with lead coach Murray Ingram, the Connect team and some special guest coaches in Cape Town on the range of technical, physical and mental skills you need to unlock your full potential, on and off the field.